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Do Blinds Really Have an Effect on Heating & Cooling Costs?

Do Blinds Really Have an Effect on Heating & Cooling Costs?

Everyone wants to save a buck or two, especially when it comes to their energy bills. But can easy steps like adding blinds, shades, or curtains really affect your home’s temperature and drop the amount you spend on heating and cooling?

Actually, yes! Even if these window dressings seem flimsy or thin, they still play a significant role in maintaining your home’s temperature. Blinds and other window treatments act as a barrier between the indoor environment and the outside elements, providing several benefits that impact energy efficiency and comfort.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy has noted that using window coverings smartly can reduce heat gain in the summer by 77% while reducing heat loss in the winter. That means you can stop running your A/C so much and cut back on how often your furnace has to kick on, too.

Not only does that knock down your energy costs, but it also saves your HVAC equipment from working too hard, reducing your A/C repair fees and extending the lifespan of your furnace.

Here’s how the experts at Ideal Air have seen homeowners reduce their home’s heating and especially their cooling costs with these simple window additions.

Good Window Treatment Options

Your home’s aesthetics may be just as important to you as saving money. Fortunately, there are several types of window coverings that can enhance your home and blend in with your interior design style while still dramatically affecting your temperature control.

With prices ranging from $20 to a few hundred dollars to even thousands, depending on your home, style, and goals, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs:

  • Blinds: The slats in blinds allow for flexibility in light control and ventilation while still effectively blocking the sun’s rays and reducing heat gain by up to 45%.

  • Shades: When installed as close to the glass as possible, shades effectively block the sun. Use reversible shades with a white side to reflect light in the summer and a dark side to absorb the heat in the winter.

  • Curtains and drapes: Hang curtains close to your windows and keep them closed in the summer to block sunlight. In the winter, keep them closed at night to prevent warm air from escaping.

  • Outdoor awnings: Placed on south-facing windows, a simple, light-colored awning can reflect sunlight and reduce heat by 65-77%. Roll them up in winter to allow the sun to warm your home.

Any one option is a good place to start, but for added temperature control, try combining window treatments, too, especially depending on the season.

Reduce Heat Gain in Summer

During hot summer days, direct sunlight can raise the temperature inside your home. By closing the blinds, shades, or curtains or by using reflective blinds, you can block out the sun's rays and prevent excess heat from entering your living spaces. This reduces the workload on your air conditioner and helps lower cooling costs.

Prevent Heat Loss in Winter

In colder months, window treatments can act as an extra layer of insulation for your windows. When closed at night or during cold weather, they create a barrier that helps retain indoor heat and prevent heat loss through the glass. This helps your heating system work more efficiently and reduces heating expenses.

Control Indoor Temperature

Shades, blinds, and curtains offer you control over how much natural light and heat you allow into your home. By adjusting the angle of the blinds, you can diffuse sunlight, reduce glare, and regulate indoor temperatures without relying solely on heating or cooling systems.

Improve Air Circulation

Properly using blinds on windows and doors can help optimize air circulation inside your home. By allowing cool breezes to enter through open windows while keeping blinds partially closed, you can create natural ventilation and decrease reliance on air conditioning.

Protect Furnishings

Curtains, shades, and blinds also play a role in protecting your interior furnishings, such as furniture, flooring, and artwork, from sun damage caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays. This can extend the lifespan of your belongings and save on replacement or repair costs.

More Window Covering Considerations

It's important to note that the effectiveness of blinds in reducing heating and cooling costs may vary depending on the type and quality of the blinds, the climate in your area, and the orientation of your windows.

For maximum energy efficiency, consider investing in energy-efficient blinds, such as cellular shades, insulated blinds, or reflective slats, which are specifically designed to improve thermal performance.

Curtains are more effective with temperature control if they are medium-hued color — too light might reflect too much heat, and too dark often absorbs too much. You may want to change out the curtains depending on the time of year.

If you are looking to reflect more heat away from your home, consider drapes with a white plastic backing that can reduce heat gain by 33%.

What If Window Treatments Aren’t Helping?

If you notice your home feeling excessively cold during the winter or overly hot during the summer, and your window coverings don’t seem to be helping, call an HVAC company like Ideal Air. Our team can conduct a comprehensive check of your cooling and heating system.

The check will include an examination of the thermostat settings, regular maintenance and cleaning of the system, a review of the insulation in your home, and a detailed inspection of the ductwork for leaks or blockages.

Any issues found during these checks could potentially impact the efficiency of the HVAC system and impede optimal temperature control, but our team can formulate a repair plan that can set your system right.

Manage Your Home’s Energy Costs With Ideal Air

Let Ideal Air perform routine maintenance on your heating and cooling systems regularly or anytime you feel they need a check-up. Schedule a service appointment and receive an exceptional tune-up, repair, or new installation that helps your HVAC system perform at its best.

Call 651-707-6007 or schedule an appointment online!

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