With colder weather finally arriving across the country, it’s beginning to feel perfect for family holidays and winter trips to vacation homes. As you prepare to spend money on gifts, hosting or traveling, most people will trim their budgets and find some savings. One idea to save you money this season may be unexpected: your home’s windows.
As you work on winter maintenance for your log or timber home, be sure to include an evaluation of all the windows in your home. Any windows that are “leaky” or need new sealant should be replaced or repaired to avoid costly heat loss. Double- or triple-paned glass with reflective low-E coatings are perfect for keeping the heat inside your home.
Once all your windows are in tip-top shape, the next step is finding window treatments that can help you save money on energy bills. There are plenty of beautiful and practical options to suit every window and style.
“Window treatments are a surprisingly smart way to winterize a home,” says Erica Bail, Creative Director at Graber, a leading brand of custom window treatments. “Cellular shades, for example, trap air, which insulates rooms from the cold air outside. Solar shades also help save energy, but let in maximum light, which is great for dark, winter days. And I love how drapery adds style, plus extra layers of insulation to help keep all the cozy in.”
Here are some tips from Graber for choosing your best option to reduce energy loss and create greater home comfort this winter.
The most insulating window shades are cellular shades. They have a unique honeycomb shape that traps air and helps keep the home comfortable and protected from the outside temperatures.
Make sure cellular shades are created with fabric. Unlike paper cellular shades, soft fabric is crush resistant and wrinkle-free.
Different cell sizes, including double cells, allow you to choose the best level of insulation for your needs.
Cellular shades are also available in a vertical orientation. That means vertical cellular shades can be matched with horizontal ones, so all windows are insulated and coordinated.
Solar shades offer a modern aesthetic and are great for managing heat, daylight, and glare. They utilize a unique technology that blocks the sun’s rays while allowing views to the outdoors.
Solar shade openness is what allows for view-through. Options include blackout (prevents light from transferring through the fabric), semi-opaque (allows minimal light), and sheer (allows daylight to filter through).
Solar fabrics are engineered to delivery energy savings. They reduce heating costs, but can also maximize natural light, which means less electricity is needed for interior lighting. For example, dark colors absorb more solar radiation to increase energy savings during colder months, and lighter colors reflect more solar radiation in the winter and optimize natural light by allowing daylight through the fabric.
Add drapery for increased insulation. The added layers offer extra insulation to windows and help to reduce heat loss. They also add a touch of sophistication to any space.
Graber contributed to this article and provided the expert advice for winterizing your home's windows.