Money Saving Window Coverings

by Brenda Wilson 06/23/2019

When moving into a new home, the first thing you want to do is make it your own. That means painting, upgrading fixtures, and the all-important window coverings. Instead of just looking for the most stylish option, take this chance to go with curtains, shades, blinds and screens will improve your bottom line. Most of the energy lost in your home goes through your walls, roof, and windows. You can enhance your walls and roof with well-made insulation, but unless you want to remove the windows entirely, your only option is thermal window coverings.

Now, typically, "thermal" is associated with keeping heat in, think "thermal underwear," but thermal window coverings are designed to block heat from both directions. That means they keep warm air inside in the winter and warm air outside in the summer. In this way, the blinds help control the temperature in your home year-round, reducing your heating and cooling energy costs.

The Four Top Options

While there are a wide variety of energy saving window coverings, and even energy saving windows themselves, the mostly break down into one of four categories.

  1. Thermal Drapes and Curtains: These are the easiest to install of all the options. The installation is, in fact, the same as for non-thermal drapes or curtains. Just hang the rod and slide on the curtain. While not tight to the windows, curtains do work to reduce the amount of heat that travels through your windows. A secondary feature of most thermal drapes is that they create "blackout" conditions. Blocking as much light as heat, they produce more comfortable conditions for sleep or to stop the glare on your forty-two-inch television screen. There are a wide variety of blackout or thermal drapes on the market, but you will get the best results from those with an acrylic backing layer. The more layers of acrylic, the thicker and more effective the curtain will be at blocking both light and heat. 
  2. Thermal Interior Blinds: Mini-blinds, plantation blinds, Venetian blinds, there are so many from which to choose. Each type's fabrication is from of different materials leading to various levels of thermal protection. Slatted blinds are useful because they give you greater control over the amount of light let into a room. Depending on the curve of your slats, you may also be able to create an air buffer between the blinds and the window, changing how the cooler or warmer air flows into your room.
  3. Cellular Shades: Halfway between curtains and blinds, these “honeycomb” shades trap air in hexagonal pockets between at least two layers. The more layers in the blinds, the more efficient they will be at stopping heat or cold from traveling through into your rooms. Unlike slat blinds, cellular shades create an air barrier in front of the window without needing to be adjusted for a particular angle.
  4. Thermal Exterior Blinds: Exterior blinds work similarly to interior blinds. They are mounted above your windows and lower or raise through channels mounted to either side. Made of a variety of faux and natural materials including bamboo, wood, vinyl, steel and aluminum you can find an amazing style to match your home's needs. In addition to adding thermal protection to the outside of your windows, external blinds increase the shade and privacy of your home. Make certain you check with your homeowner's association first though. Some HOAs don't allow outdoor blinds since they change the exterior appearance of your home.

Want to block even more heat and light? Or just have more control? Look for reflective window films, awnings, roof overhangs, and screens to augment your interior window coverings. Getting ready to sell? Ask your real estate agent about the best choices to improve the value of your home.

About the Author
Author

Brenda Wilson

THE SARASOTA PARADISE GROUP - 2018 Craig & Brenda have successfully listed HOMES & CONDOS located in LAKEWOOD RANCH COMMUNITIES, and WATERFRONT, BEACHFRONT, GOLF COURSEs including many unique properties requiring their customized expertise. Many of their clients have relocated from around the globe including year-round and part-year owners. Craig is a Broker Associate and earned the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation, and is also a New Home Specialist. Brenda is a licensed Realtor and earned her Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist along with numerous other designations. The Wilsons have a proven success record with tremendous staff & systems. As top listing agents, their marketing plan is professional, proven and includes an aggressive multi-pronged internet marketing campaign. Married for 34 years, Brenda & Craig were both raised in upstate New York near Binghamton, where Craig graduated college with an accounting degree. After remodeling several homes of their own, they moved to Virginia Beach in 1986 to partner a start-up financial service business ALMOST A BANC, offering check cashing, money orders, Western Union and packaging services. Building to 19 locations with over 120 employees and gross revenues in excess of $3 million per year, they sold the company in February 1992 to a Bear Stearns subsidiary. Craig held his Virginia Real Estate license and negotiated dozens of commercial leases for check cashing & tax centers. In 1991, Brenda & Craig started Quick-File Tax Network (similar to H & R Block tax preparation centers). Quick-File Tax Network quickly expanded to 29 offices in Virginia & Maryland – offering Tax preparation services & refund loans. With 100+ employees each season, they processed 4,000 – 7,700 tax returns per season, and then sold the business in 1995. Their custom designed FEEBASE database, training & form kits were licensed by Mellon Bank for use by thousands of other tax offices around the country for several years. In 1994, Craig went to work as a Sales representative for McCarthy Enterprise that included relocating to Rockport, Texas and lots of travel, selling time management systems & journals to manufacturers of leather & vinyl planner covers. During this same timeframe, Brenda started her career in Real Estate, working for Coldwell Banker, and then moved to a small luxury brokerage Key Allegro Real Estate in Rockport. Brenda was a Rookie of the Year in 1995 proving herself a valuable asset receiving various awards for top production. In July 1999, the Wilsons made their move to Tulsa, Oklahoma to pursue Bible College for Craig and start their real estate career together. Craig graduated Bible School and worked part time as a Children’s Pastor for 3 years. During this same time, Brenda & Craig quickly evolved into a top real estate team averaging over 60 sales per year in 2000-2004. During their last year in Tulsa, the Wilson Hometeam was the number one Keller Williams Real Estate team in the Tulsa Market with 80 sales. Systems were fine tuned, followed by many happy buyers and sellers. In July 2004, the call of the sunny Gulf Coast climate and sales opportunities led Brenda & Craig to relocate to Paradise on Florida’s gulf coast in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. They transferred to Keller Williams Realty Select and have consistently earned many top production awards annually for the past 13 years. Craig and Brenda's team continues to evolve as their daughter, Jessica Coay, became team administrator in 2016 – working at the office 3 days a week. In 2017 she activated her real estate license and has now joined the team working with buyers and sellers. In 2017, they joined with Fine Properties and have also hired Judi Wilson as a full-time team administrator. The Sarasota Paradise Group gives you the advantage of having multiple agents to hold open houses, show property, and watch the market continuously to assist our clients navigate their real estate needs! If you’re considering selling or buying a property, let Brenda & Craig show you the benefits of working with an experienced team with a proven plan for maximizing your return. Call Craig & Brenda at (941) 321-8686.