On beautiful days your open windows bring gentle breezes, sights, and sounds into your home. But on harsh days with blazing heat or bone-chilling cold you want protection, and a closed window can’t provide that alone. Adding energy-efficient window treatments can be the most effective investment you make to control your utility bill. And while you’re doing what’s practical, Hunter Douglas can help you do what’s stylish, adding long-lasting value to your home.
40% of the heat that escapes from your home leaves through the windows. And 50% of the solar heat that enters a room comes in through—you guessed it—the windows. Obviously, energy efficient treatments can translate into considerable utility bill savings, especially if your windows are on a cold north exposure in the winter or a sun-saturated west wall in the summer.
Building materials are assigned an R-value according to the product’s ability to resist heat movement. The higher the R-value the better it insulates your home. Most windows have an R-value of 0.9 to 3.0 and can be responsible for 40 to 70 percent of heat or cold transfer for an entire home. The heat loss or gain at your home’s windows is impacted by the following:
1. Window properties. Window frames are typically metal, wood or vinyl. The R-value of a metal frame can be 5 to 20 percent lower than a wood or vinyl frame window. A single layer of uncovered window glass has an R- value of 1.16. Advances in glass coatings and assembly methods are improving the energy performance of new windows, but a window’s age, quality of construction, and the condition of sashes, weather stripping and caulking will impact how much air infiltrates or escapes your home.
2. Window square footage. Windows make up 20 percent of the typical home exterior and 40 percent in contemporary construction. Numerous large, uncovered windows can break your energy budget when they’re on a cold north exposure in winter or a sun-saturated west wall in summer.
3. Window coverings. Heat moves towards cold. In the winter it’s drawn to cold glass toescape your home (see illustration above). In the summer outdoor heat moves toward the windows of your air-conditioned home. The white exterior backing on all HunterDouglas proprietary products reflects the sun. Using layers and cellular construction treatments at your windows can increase R-value by1 to nearly 5 points. In extreme climates, that could save more dollars than you would spend to install windows with a higher energy efficiency.
All window coverings help defend your home against summer heat and winter cold. The design, materials and construction of the window coverings discussed here enable them to make a more significant contribution to energy efficiency.
Show Me the Savings
Energy efficient window treatments help you to:
Cut heat loss in winter and increase your home’s cozy comfort as they slow the escape of warm air. Window treatments act as insulation, covering glass to keep warm air inside (see illustration at left).
Cut infiltration of solar heat, the single largest contributor to the workload of your home’s cooling system.
Save money on utilities and save the natural resources used to generate energy.
Save your interior fabrics, furnishings and woods from fading and deterioration.
Energy-efficient window treatments translate into