Winter has settled over the country in full and unforgiving force, and many Americans are looking for any way possible to keep the cold out and the heat in. When it comes to making your home more energy efficient, the answer may be as simple as a new set of drapes.
In fact, in addition to making a home more comfortable and saving homeowners on utilities, NJ.com reports that certain types of drapes are actually eligible for the same energy efficiency federal tax credits as installing a solar water heater or adding attic insulation.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, Energy.gov, window coverings can play a role in reducing heat loss in a home by 25% when installed properly. The Department of Energy advises that homeowners should hang blinds or shades as closely to the window as possible and pull them down to touch the windowsill.
As far as the drapes go, they should be made from heavy fabrics like velvet or wool, which are great for wintertime looks in the home. They should also cover the entire window, and panels should touch at the center when closed. Some homeowners may consider using magnetic tape or velcro to affix the drapes to the wall along the sides and bottom.
“There are also incredible blackout shades and sun shades that do the same job and keep your home warm,” says Albert Nakash, VP, Bettertex. “But don’t forget–decorating your home with new drapery and shades is also a great way to make your home beautiful and upgrade the design. Not only are you saving money and keeping your home warm but it is also more elegant!”
The U.S. Department of Energy also advises that homeowners should install a cornice at the top of the drapery, close the drapes at night, and hang more than one drapery — two hung together is more efficient.
Wintertime isn’t the only time the right window treatments are going to make a difference in the comfort level of your home. As summer approaches, homeowners may consider buying shades, which can actually reduce the temperature in a home by 20 degrees. Using blackout curtains can also keep sunlight from entering and warming a home in the summer.