How often do you forget to turn the lights off before leaving your house in the morning? How often do you get tired of repeating to your children to switch the TV off when they are done watching? How often do you wake up in the middle of the night to switch off the AC? Quiet often, isn’t it? And if we were to ask you, “why even bother?”,you wouldn’t have second thoughts before blurting out: “to save on electricity bills.”
What if we were to tell you that you can now save electricity smartly without personal attention or human interference? Yes, it’s true! Smart home automation technology now allows owners to take full control of their energy consumption through several smart home energy-saving strategies. Many smart devices and appliances available in the market today can be easily connected through the internet, which allows you to easily control and manage their daily functions. These functions include your home security, temperature control, lights, and several window treatment operations. Smart hubs operating these devices turn them on or off according to your convenience, needs, and presence in their vicinity. It smoothly eliminates the drainage of energy occurring due to idling appliances. This ultimately boosts energy efficiency and conservation.
Using window shades is the most effective and convenient option for saving energy as well as your money. Appropriate installation on windows creates a tight seal that will minimizes both heat loss during colder months and heat gain during warmer months, ultimately saving you more energy consumption.
Let’s take a quick look at how these energy-saving shades work :
- Closing the shades: Closing shades or blinds at right time helps curb energy consumption at home. For instance, in summer season, too much direct sunlight leads to heat build-up across the room and also heats up your furniture. This ultimately leads to turning on the air conditioning and consuming more energy. By shutting your shades when not needed, such as in this situation, you can effectively reduce unnecessary heat gain in the house and save a substantial amount of energy. Moreover, during cold winter season, heat is often lost through your windows and doors. Closing the shades in such times adds insulation and reduces heat loss.
- Opening the shades: Similarly, opening your shades at the right time also helps save energy consumption. On wintry mornings, sunlight heats up the interiors, and this heat build-up is crucial for saving energy, and it is known as passive solar heating. For enhancing this passive solar heat build-up throughout the house, consider including a thermal mass in your house, such as title floors.
- Reflective shades: Energy-saving cellular shades or solar shades protect your windows and interiors and provide insulation. They decrease constant heat exchange through the windows. Nevertheless, reflective shades and blinds reportedly perform much better than normal standard shades and blinds when it comes to reflecting more light and heat to maintain optimum temperature and light inside the house. Reflective shades reflect direct sunlight and heat during summers, keeping the house cool, and attract more heat from the outside during winters, helping in heat gain. For better energy efficiency, some reflective shades are reversible, such that one side is more reflective and the other is more absorptive.
- Interior–exterior shades: The majority of shades and blinds are installed inside of the house for convenience while installing, operating, and replacing. However, these are often less efficient when it comes to solar heat gain. On the other hand, exterior shades and blinds are often designed and installed exclusively for solar control as they are sturdier, present less gaps, and block sunlight even before it passes through the window glass. They can be operated manually or automatically and are often made of wood, vinyl, aluminum, and steel.
If you have the habit of leaving your windows uncovered, the glass is bound to be exposed to sunlight and dust. This makes it challenging to maintain an optimum temperature-controlled surrounding in summers. Also, in winters, heat is likely to escape through open windows. So, consider keeping your windows covered for enhancing energy efficiency.
Solar shades reflect sunlight and absorb heat. Ultimately, you don’t have to worry about spending extra money for cooling your home. Minimal use of air conditioneris critical inminimizing harmful emissions, reducing carbon footprint, and curbing electricity bills. Moreover, solar shades are made with biodegradable materials that are environment-friendly. Additionally, energy-saving cellular shades are trendy, versatile and innovative window coverings in high demand. Cellular shades feature a distinct, pleated, honeycomb-like pattern that offers both a chic facade and superior energy savings.
Blackout shades and blinds are another amazing choice for keeping heat and light out. Venetian blinds and vertical blinds are also particularly amazing at blocking direct sunlight without hindering the flow of fresh air or blocking the view. Roman shades and blinds regulate room temperature, whereas shutters help keep the place cool. Additionally, apart from adding overall value and aesthetics to your interiors, vintage and plantation shutters also help save a fortune on your electricity bills. Wherein lot of heat or cool air is lost through other window treatments, shutters are tightly installed on to any window frame and have lesser gaps compared to other window treatments, which effectively maintains optimum temperature.
Considering the trends and latest updates in the design of energy-saving shades, you can opt for shades with a dual-layer fabric that comes with dark colours on one side and light colours on the other. This dual-colour quality gives more functionality as you can reverse the shades according to the changing seasons for maximum energy efficiency.Dark colours will absorb more heat in winters, whereas light colours reflects direct sunlight in summers.
Along with blinds, shutters, and energy-saving shades, drapery adds an extra insulation layer to your house.The look of gorgeous drapes on top of cellular or roman shades bring elegance to your windows. When drapery is combined with shades, it helps create a perfect semblance in the interiors while efficiently keeping temperature at a level you desire.Thus, drapes and curtains are not only classic and rich-looking, but they also help in maintaining optimum temperature, light, and air flow throughout the house, leading to energy efficiency. Hence, whatever the first layer of insulation you choose to install, always consider adding a layer drapery for maximum energy efficiency and lowering your electricity bills.
Although saving money is a critical step in any household, saving the environment and protecting our planet is equally important for the future. Unfortunately, energy otherwise consumed in heating and cooling is utilized from mostly non-renewable resources. This poses adverse effects on the environment. If we start with taking small steps, such as equipping our windows with insulated coverings, a substantial amount of energy would be saved, leading to less air pollution and reduced carbon footprints. This would, without a doubt, make the world a happier place to live in. Such small and simple steps would definitely improve the quality of life in the long run and help achieve more sustainable future for humankind.