Can blinds and windows save you money?
It is possible to cut down on power bills by being smart about window treatments.
The right window coverings can and will save home owners money.
Danielle Crosby, from Dollar Curtains and Blinds, says uncovered windows are responsible for up to 50% of unwanted heat gain in summer and 40% of heat loss in winter.
“A one degree fall in temperature in your home adds 10% to your heating bill. Conversely, an increase in temperature in summer adds significantly to the energy required for cooling,” Crosby says.
Curtains create a trapped layer of air between the fabric and the window, which generates an insulating air pocket.
“This results in greater control over the interior temperature of your home and significant savings on power bills."
“Studies demonstrate that curtains made from block-out fabric can reduce heat gains by 33%. Adding lining onto curtains is also a must, as it creates a second layer of trapped air and further insulation.”
The practical benefits of curtains are endless.
“They offer increased thermal and noise insulation, UV protection, privacy and room darkening. Curtains are the top window covering for energy-efficiency, so they are truly worth the investment and will save you money in the long term,” she says.
Pelmets form a barrier to stop air that has risen to the top of the room from escaping over the top of the curtain and through the window.
“There can’t be enough said of the benefit of adding pelmets over your curtains or blinds to ensure you’re not wasting your money on heating or cooling your home. Without pelmets, the hot or cool air will simply escape,” Crosby says.
The shape traps air, helping to create a more constant indoor temperature, keeping rooms cool in summer and warm in winter. They can save up to 32% on energy costs.
“(Honeycomb blinds) are constructed using a fabric that is cellular/honeycomb in shape, providing superior insulation properties.” she says.
Crosby recommends buying custom-made window coverings, rather than pre-made.
“Custom-made curtains and blinds are manufactured to your window dimensions without any pre-fabrication or shortcuts. This is crucial, as it ensures your window coverings are installed snug onto your windows to get the best possible light control, privacy and insulation benefits.”
Awnings and outdoor blinds – which can help provide a consistent and comfortable temperature inside – can also deliver cost savings. Independent tests have shown some awnings brands offer energy cost reductions of up to 58%, Crosby says.
According to the Federal Government’s Department of Environment and Energy, home owners should also consider double glazing and window films.
The spokesperson says double glazing on windows and skylights can help keep heat in or out and also reduces outside noise.
“Double glazing is not just for cold climates; it’s very useful for air-conditioned homes, to keep cool air in. How well your double glazing will work can depend on how it is installed, what type of window frames you have and the climate you live in,” the spokesperson says.
Installing window films can be another cost-effective option for reducing solar heat gain through existing windows.
“Some window films can halve the overall amount of solar energy passing through the window. Consider retro-fitting magnetic acrylic panels or double glazing in any existing timber windows.”