If you’re finding that you’re spending a lot of money on heating and cooling your home, or if your house gets very hot or very cold during particular seasons, an easy fix is energy efficient window treatments. Changing up your current window treatments could save you a lot of money on your energy bills. About 20% of simulated temperature is lost through windows, and rather than calling inexpensive contractors to renovate your home, try an easier fix – your windows!
Here are the top 5 energy efficient window treatments you can use to lower your energy bill and ensure your home stays warm:
These are considered the best and most energy efficient shades on the market. Using a series of cell pockets (similar to a honeycomb) to trap air around your windows, these type of window blinds ensure that your room stays temperate – warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Differing pleat sizes contribute to different amounts of energy saved. If you’re looking for automated window coverings, cellular shades can be fitted for motorization, helping you stay efficient, and giving you the added plus of convenience.
A classic look that is timeless and appealing, drapes are available in thousands of shades, colours and patterns. Because of their thickness, drapes have the ability to block cold air from entering, and warm air from escaping. Thermal lined drapes help with extra coverage as well.
Plantation shutters are thick and fit snugly against your window seal, trapping unwanted air between the glass and the covering, helping to insulate the room.
These shades are great for when your home gets too warm from excess sunlight. Helping to cut down your air conditioning bills, these shades prevent harsh sunlight from entering your home.
Combination Window Coverings
Depending on the severity of the problem, one window covering may not be enough. You can layer window treatments on top of each other to help increase the level of insulation. This can be done by adding drapes to cellular shades or shutters. The combination will help you reduce your energy bill, and still looks great and homey.
Some Tips for General Home Energy Efficiency
Aside from the window treatments, here are some ways you can help lower your bill even more:
- Low-Flow Fixtures – reduce your home’s water consumption by as much as 50% with low-flow taps, faucets, and showerheads.
- Insulation – if your home isn’t effectively insulated, you may want to look into calling in a professional to help with the re-insulating it. Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, insulation will help regulate your home’s temperature and save you money.
- Fluorescent Light Bulbs – lasting 4-10 times longer than regular light bulbs, these bulbs will save you money on your bill, and they are more environmentally-friendly.
- Efficient Dishwashers – older dishwashers are not energy efficient. Installing a new one can save you 50% water consumption per cycle.
What Makes a Home Energy Efficient?
When evaluating whether or not your home is performing efficiently when it comes to energy, some things to help you determine this are:
- Cost-Effectiveness: if your home as a great EnerGuide rating, it means that it is well-insulated, airtight, and is using high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Accessories such as low-flow taps, showers and faucets, and energy-efficient bulbs, dishwashers and washing machines are all ways to ensure your home is running as energy-efficient as possible.
- Comfortable: if the average temperature in your home is generally comfortable – warm in the winter and cool in the summer, you know you’re on the right track. With excellent ventilation and air quality, you will ensure your home is never too humid or dry, and draft-free.
- Environmentally-Friendly: if all the appliances, accessories, and systems are working to ensure lower energy consumption, lessen greenhouse gases, and shrink the overall carbon footprint of your home, you can rest assured your home is energy efficient.
Government Grants You Should Know About
For those who are residents or business-owners in Ontario, there are government grants available for making the switch to energy-efficiency systems.
- Heating and Cooling: When you install energy saving appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, you are eligible for a $650 grant.
- Coupons: There are a series of coupons available for you to print off and use in stores when you are buying energy-efficient products. Things like light bulbs, weather stripping, and programmable thermostats are all eligible for these discounts, up to $10 off.
- Home Assistance Program: For those with low-income households (this means that a family of four’s annual income must be lower than $43,546) you are eligible to have new appliances installed for free. Included in this is everything from light bulbs to programmable thermostats, to a window air conditioner.
Making the switch to an energy-efficient lifestyle in your home is easier than it seems, and it can all start with a simple upgrade of your window treatments!