Insulated window treatments are not just for winter
Insulated window shades and curtains are effective in lowering heating and cooling costs. It’s common sense! Just think about how much cooler it is under the umbrella in the summer instead of being directly in the sun. When the sun shines into your windows, heat passes through the glass into your house. It then rises and collects under your roof, making rooms upstairs unbearably hot. Although you don’t feel drafts of hot air in the summer, the hot air will try to get into your cool house, just like the hot air makes its way out — to be replaced by cold air – come winter.
The weakest link in the barriers between inside and outside temperatures are your windows and doors. Good installation will keep air from entering around the edges. But, even with good installation, window glass is not as insulating as walls and doors. An easy solution is insulated curtains.
By closing curtains where the sun pours in during the day, you are reducing the heat coming into the house. This gives your air conditioner a fighting chance. If you use fans, curtains above or below the fan will also slow the heat transfer into your house.
Close the shades or curtains when the sun is direct. Open the shades when the sun has moved to the other side of the house. There are modern high-tech building designed with timers to open and close shades for energy efficiency. It is only a matter of time before automatic curtain openers will be tied to timers or thermostats for the typical house. You can use the low-tech tool — your hands — to do the same.