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This Window Treatments will help you take control of SUN & HEAT at home.

  1. Window coverings can be rated according to energy efficiency. For instance, shading coefficient measures how well window treatments reduce solar heat gain. A lower shading coefficient rating is desirable. For an example a shading coefficient of .40 indicates that 60 percent of solar heat gain will be blocked. Another rating is called the solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC. This is a more accurate rating system but more complicated and utilized less until recently. Again a lower rating indicates more energy savings.

  2. One option is to convert conventional drapes to energy saving ones by keeping curtains flush to the wall, enclosing the drapes over the top of the rod, and choosing drapes that reach the floor. Use magnetic tape or Velco to attach drapes at the sides to the wall as reducing air flow increases efficiency 25 percent. Curtains that are made of material that reflects sunlight, especially those with a white or light-colored fabric, are also good choices. Tightly woven material, thermal curtains and double layers of curtains are also helpful.

  3. Standard window blinds can reduce heat gain by 45 percent. Energy efficient window blinds often have a honeycomb design with air insulating pockets. When closed, the honeycombs collapse and when open the air pocket insulates. These blinds can be either single or double honeycomb with the double being more efficient. Some energy efficient blinds are made in the traditional design with insulating value vanes which may be sealed or foam-filled for even better energy efficiency.

  4. Generally, shades are more efficient than standard blinds or curtains by virtue of how closely they sit next to the window. Regular shades reduce heat exchange by 28 percent while those that use side tracks to seal the edges reduce heat exchange by up to 45 percent. The best options in shades are those that are reversible, with one side that is light and reflective and the other is dark and heat-absorbing. In summer, the reflective side should face the outside.

  5. Another option to block sun and heat is to use reflective film on your windows. Apply directly to the interior side of windows. Film is especially helpful when placed on the windows on the eastern and western sides of a home. This film is a permanent material and should not be used on the south-facing windows as in winter you will lose passive sun heating.

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