With the new season comes differences in how your home operates. As the weather turns cooler, you may find some home deficiencies, like drafty windows or old caulking, impacting your home’s comfort levels and energy efficiency. If you observe a difference in the atmosphere of your indoor space, you may need replacement windows (or replacement caulking). But while you are looking for more efficient windows, there’s an often-overlooked piece that can help increase your energy efficiency and comfort now—appropriate shades and blinds.
Shades or blinds on replacement windows have the potential to save you money on your monthly energy bills, particularly during winter months in Washington DC when temperatures get lower. The key to getting the most benefit from your shades and blinds is proper installation. It’s also important to make these adjustments as the colder months approach:
- North-facing windows – Your windows facing the north usually get the least amount of sunlight. It’s smart to keep your shades closed on these windows because not much heat will be gained from sunlight.
- South-facing windows – The windows on the south side of your house allow you to benefit from some natural warmth from the sun during Washington DC winters. Keep your shades open on your south windows for prolonged periods of time because these windows provide the best chance of netting some of the sun’s warmth.
- East-facing windows – Keep your shades open on the east side of your home throughout the morning.
- West-facing windows – During the afternoon and evening, you should keep your shades on the west side of your house open. Blinds are also an appropriate option for west-facing windows (interior blinds are more suitable than exterior blinds in the winter because they will allow more heat in).
Saving energy in your home can be that simple with window shade adjustments, but proper installation is also key. Keeping your shades as close to your window glass as possible will help minimize heat loss. Window shades with a double layer of fabric are even better, if they are an option for your house. Lighter-colored window shades will reflect heat in the summer and darker-colored shades will attract heat in the winter.
People often forget the energy efficiency shades and blinds can provide for a home. If you are in need of enhancing your comfort levels this winter and you think your windows might be the problem, invest in proper shades and follow our opening and closing tips until you’re prepared for replacement windows. Pella Windows and Doors offers a variety of window shade and blind styles at our Washington DC showroom, so come stop by. You can also reach us at (202) 810-6799 or set up an in-home appointment with us online so we can evaluate your windows and give you shade recommendations.