Having plenty of windows around your home is a great way to invite the natural light inside and keep your place at the perfect temperature – all year round. On top of that, windows also admit warmth and air, connect you with the outside world and often frame spectacular views.
However, windows are a pretty big culprit when it comes to household energy usage too. In fact, 10-times more heat can be lost during the cooler months of the year through a single pane of glass compared to the same area of an insulated wall. Once the warmer weather rolls around, 87% of the home’s heat is then gained through windows.
This energy fluctuation means many homeowners are left forking out more for temperature control. Whether it’s air-conditioning to battle the peak summer temperatures or heating through winter, having windows can make a pretty big dent in your bank account and skyrocket your energy consumption too.
But that’s not to say you can’t have windows at all. With a little preparation and the right selection of window furnishings, you can build your dream sundrenched home or renovate your existing house, without losing energy through the glass. There are plenty of different options on the market, so it’s important to understand how window coverings save energy before you start looking for the right one to use in your space.
How do window coverings save energy?There are three main ways that window furnishings can make your home more energy efficient.
- Controls heat from entering your home – Although a fair amount of sunlight is beneficial, too much will heat up your space to the point of discomfort. Window furnishings give you full control over how much light you let in, which keeps your interiors cooler and prevents you from reaching for the air-conditioning.
- Reduces heat loss in winter – When fitted snug against the window frame, good quality window furnishings can greatly reduce heat loss by trapping in the heat already inside and reducing the amount of cold air entering from outside.
- Stores heat and energy – When window coverings are kept closed on a hot day, the heat is trapped between the furnishing and glass. By opening the covering when it cools down into the evening, the extra heat helps keep the room warmer for longer.
Finding the right energy efficient window furnishing
When it comes to finding an energy efficient window furnishing, the good news is that you’ve got plenty to choose between. There are different styles to suit different personal preferences, climates, usage and location in the house. At Empire Window Furnishings, we find the three most popular options for people across Australia are curtains, blinds and shutters.
Heavy curtains are best for thermal performance and are great to block out light. For this option, it’s important to ensure your curtains are effective, with an enclosed pelmet at the top or that they come at a straight drop from the cornice. If not, the warm air inside will rise to the top of the window and be drawn down into the space between the window and curtain, creating a current of air that can rapidly cool the warm air and increase condensation. Pelmets can usually be retrofitted to an existing curtain and can also be hidden behind the curtain to keep the space looking as stylish as ever.
Blinds offer great diversity when it comes to energy control. Similarly to curtains, it’s important to ensure the blinds are fitted snugly to the window to minimise air gaps around the edges. While they don’t provide quite as much protection as a curtain, it’s a great option for small and narrow windows. The ability to easily switch between blackout or admitting some light gives people great temperature control and an added privacy mechanism.
Shutters with adjustable blades are currently a popular choice for the interior styling of windows. These timber or PVC window coverings not only provide great privacy, but also block out a considerable amount of light – even when the blades are tilted open. The key to saving energy with shutters is to ensure the furnishing has a good quality seal and structured design. For those wanting timber shutters but also looking to take their sustainability to another level, it’s important to consider if the material is sustainably sourced and manufactured too.
No matter where you’re looking to save energy around the home, window furnishings are a great way to reduce your environmental impact and cut back on costs too. To kick start the process and get energy efficient window coverings in Sydney, contact the Empire Window Furnishings team today.