The window treatments you choose for your home can add the perfect finishing touch to each and every room. However, did you know that some window treatments could actually help you save money in addition to just looking great? Whether you're looking for inexpensive window treatments that will fit even the tightest decorating budget or you want to make sure that your curtains, draperies, blinds and shades will help conserve energy, here are a few tips that will help you make the right decorating decision.
Proper Window Preparation Pays Off in Savings
Once you've removed your old window treatments, it's a great time to make sure your windows are properly weatherproofed. If you feel any drafts or cold breezes around the edges of your windows, chances are they are letting warm air leak out of your home - along with your hard-earned cash. You can better pinpoint the areas that need weatherproofing by holding a small strip of lightweight paper close to the window edges. If the paper strip starts to flutter, it's a sign that air is leaking in. Use caulking for air leaks around the wood window trim, or weatherproofing strips around the moving areas of the windows to seal air leaks.
Choosing the Best Window Treatment
If you're trying to save money, homemade window treatments can often be the best choice. However, if the draperies, curtains, blinds or shades you choose are made from fabrics and materials that are designed to insulate against the cold, even pricier store-bought window treatments can save you money in the long run. Checking to make sure your window treatments have a high "R-value" is the best way to make sure they'll insulate effectively.
If you're faced with a large picture window that faces north, full-length floor-to-ceiling curtains can often be the best choice to help keep heat from escaping. However, if you have heat vents or registers directly under the window, draperies that stop at the windowsill can be a better choice. Either way, make sure to hang curtains and draperies as close to the wall as possible to create a more effective air barrier.
Insulated shades can also help protect against window heat loss. Look for shades that are designed with air pockets built in, which will add an extra layer of insulation between the cold window and the warm air in the room. These shades can be a good solution for rooms where long, heavy, insulated draperies can be too visually overpowering.
The color of your window treatments can also be important. In the winter, darker colored window treatments will provide your home with some solar heat. In the summer when you are trying to keep your home cool, you should switch to lighter colored window treatments to help reflect the heat. Reversible shades with one dark side and one light side can make it easy to conserve heat and money, regardless of the season.
Extra Money-Saving Tips
Once you've chosen the perfect window treatments, why not maximize your energy and money savings by utilizing a few extra heat conservation tricks? If you plan on keeping your draperies or curtains shut during the cold winter season, consider using plastic insulation film on your windows. You can also affix Velcro pieces to your window trim and curtains to create a more airtight seal around the windows.
Jessica Ackerman of WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, is an interior designer who illustrates how simple it can be to use southwestern wall art and contemporary wall artwork.