Keeping cool with window treatments

window treatments
Posted at 5:45 AM, Aug 19, 2014
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:07:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Blasting the A/C may keep your house cool in the summer, but it won't help your bottom line.

If your budget could use a break, you may want to focus on your windows - or at least what's hanging around them. In this Angie's List report, the best window treatments to block out summer heat.

Here's something you might not know -- window blinds, either the vertical or horizontal ones, can reduce solar heat gain by 45 percent.

Insulated drapes can also improve your efficiency, but you need to pay attention to the fabric type and color.  

"When it comes to keeping cool in the summertime grandma's advice about pulling the drapes on windows that face the west and the south still holds true," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

And certain window shades can also help slash energy costs.

"Using a medium-colored drape with a white plastic backing can cut your solar heat gain by 33 percent," said Hicks.

Pat Rebb, the owner of a window covering company, adds: "One of the most efficient window coverings is cellular or honeycomb shades. They have a gap of air between the cells which helps as a barrier for that warm air and the heat coming in, that solar heat coming in."

And don't forget awnings, whether they're stationary or retractable.

"Window awnings today are more fashionable than days gone by. There are different types of materials as well as colors and styles. The great thing about awnings is they can cut your solar heat gain by about 77 percent," said Hicks.

The key to reducing energy use in your home is ensuring window treatments are installed properly.  Angie's List found most window treatment companies do offer free in-home consultations.  

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday on WTXL Sunrise.