Different Types of Window Treatments

When looking into window treatments for your home you have several options for the inside and outside. You will need to know your expectations and goals of the window treatments are in order to choose the right one for you. This could be to decrease the heat from direct sunlight, save money on energy, blocking sunlight that is causing damage to furniture or wood floors, or to add value to your home.

How much control over the treatment and their mobility are other factors that help pick the right window coverings. If you prefer to control how much sunlight gets into your home, or if you would rather just have constant shade; these are important considerations to make when making these types of decisions.

Let’s look into the different options you have for window treatments.

Note: At Stellar Sunscreens, we specialize in custom sunscreens, and do not install any other type of window treatment/shutters. The information below is to provide our clients with information on all of the options that exist for window coverings.  If you are interested in sunscreens, please call us for a free estimate!

Outdoor Window Treatments

Solar Sunscreens

Solar sunscreens can be placed on either the inside or outside of your home. Solar screens can be fixed onto your windows or made into roller shades to allow more control of the screens.

These screens are used to block out UV rays, glare, and heat from the sun. TAs you can imagine, they are best for windows with direct sunlight, as it can help decrease the heat and glare entering your home.

Using a sunscreen for your windows can decrease a room’s temperature by about 12 degrees Fahrenheit. This will aid in lowering energy costs due to keeping your home cool. Additionally, it also adds value to your home.

When using solar sunscreens, there is still visibility when looking outside, through them. These are similar to an insect screen, but provide more solar protection and cooling effects. So they have limited effects on your ability to see the landscape and environment around your home.

Sunscreens help to protect your furniture, floors, and interior decorations from discoloration and wear from the sun’s rays too!.

Awnings

Awnings are fixed or retractable shades placed above your windows to help block out some sunlight. Awnings are made from a variety of materials such as metal or synthetic fabric.

Awnings dont help to decrease the amount of heat that enters into your home from the sun. When using an awning, there doesn’t need to be ventilation holes in the awning to prevent hot air from being trapped underneath.

If getting fixed awnings on your home, keep in mind that though awnings can help reduce heat in the summer months it can also increase heating cost during winter. To decrease this possibility have your awnings angled in order to capture the winter time sunlight or go with a retractable awning to give you more control.

Shutters

Window shutters are another kind of window treatment that offers a stable and solid covering. Usually, shutters will consist of horizontal rails and vertical stiles that are all mounted within a frame. They are placed on the outside of the window either hinged to the sides of your window or placed above to roll down onto your window.

The hinged shutters resemble old-time bar swinging doors that can be closed to provide privacy and reduce heat gain. These are usually made of wood or vinyl depending on your aesthetic.

Roller shutters are slats made of aluminum or plastic that interlock when rolled down to also provide privacy and reduce heat in your home.

Shutter usually do not provide visibility into or out of your home. This is perfect for those looking for security and privacy. These are also used for areas that experience intense storms as it can help protect the windows.

Indoor Window Treatments

Insulated Cellular shades

For homeowners who wish to retain and regulate room heat, insulated cellular shades are ideal. With these shades, you are able to keep warm without spending too much on heating bills, and at the same time, you get to maintain your home’s style and good taste. It’s one of those window covering treatments that are chosen by those who want energy and cost efficiency.

These shades resemble an accordion and will easily fold up or down to help provide shade in your home. Insulated cellular shades provide insulation for your windows, due to their honeycomb design that creates small air pockets that reduce the amount of heat to pass through.

These shades provide little visibility, if any, to the outdoors. The shades do provide protection from heat gain during the summer months and heat loss during the winter months. You can choose to go for single or double cellular shades, as both are highly recommended but if we must add, stay away from the triple cell if you do not want something that’s too heavy for your windows.

Using cellular shades on tracks is the most effective way to make sure you get maximum efficiency. You are also able to have some control due to being able to adjust these shades to cover any portion of the window at a time. Over time, they have also made their way to the list of the top options for indoor window treatments, especially if you prefer to achieve a sleek and minimal look.

Curtains and Blinds

Curtains are made of fabrics and sometimes lined with plastic to help reduce heat gain. Curtains’ ability to block out the sun’s heat depends on color and type of fabric used. They are the usual go-to treatment for those who do not like to try too daring window treatments, but at the same time, still remain to be a classic, yet elegant home décor.

Curtains come in a wide, almost endless variety of fabrics, patterns, colors, designs, and styles. Its versatility is among the many reasons why most homes still have curtains on their windows even now. A clear fabric curtain will provide little if any, protection from the sun’s rays, but a light to medium-colored blackout curtain will provide a sufficient amount of protection from heat gain.  

To get the most out of curtains they will need to be installed very close to the window and reach at least to the window sill. Adding a cornice to the top of the window will help get the most out of your curtains. In order to get the maximum reduction in heat gain, the curtains must be closed with little to no sunlight getting through.

Blinds, on the other hand, afre another type of window covering that’s as timeless as curtains, but not quite as much. The term comes from a literal context – as they were invented to blind the sight of those who are inside and outside of a particular home. Through its help, one can maintain privacy without being too sneaky about it.

Most people who would choose blinds are the kinds of homeowners who like practicality and style in just one go. Window blinds can be manually or remote controlled depending on your preference as a buyer. Remote controls often work by simply rotating the blinds from an open position.

There are also several types of blinds that you can choose from, depending on your desired style and purpose. There are vertical blinds, Venetian, mini, micro, panel, and several others. The types of blinds have grown over the years, with manufacturers that are aiming to provide the best window treatment solution for all kinds of customers.

Blinds are vertical or horizontal slats usually made of wood or plastic. These do decrease heat gain and provide some added control over visibility and glare due to being able to adjust the angle of the blinds.

Window Film

Window films consist of three layers that are applied directly to the glass; adhesive, polyester film and a coating to reduce scratches. There are several additional options you can choose from such as tints or UV blocking films.

Window films do help reduce heat gain and can be great in summer months. However, during the winter months it will continue to block the sun’s rays that would otherwise help in heating your home.

Window films also help with reducing UV rays that could cause damage to your interior decorations. Window films are great for people who do not want anything blocking their visibility.

Getting the window treatment that works best with your style and utilization is important. Combining window treatments is a great way to provide added protection for your home’s interior as well as decrease your energy cost. With several options adding value to your home it’s a win-win situation.

All you have to do is become familiar with the different window treatments available and how they work – and from there, shortlist your choices. Try to envision the kind of style and ambiance that you want to achieve for your home. From there, you can surely come up with the best window treatment that can greatly benefit your home décor and your satisfaction as the owner.

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your House Cool

When summer hits things can start to heat up in your home which means feeling cranky and uncomfortable as well as spending more on energy bills. Keeping cool can be difficult, especially for those without AC. There are several things you can do to help beat the heat in your home as well as decrease energy spending cost.

Keep Blinds and Shades Closed

If you have a lot of windows that offer direct sunlight, you are losing a lot of cool air and gaining a lot of heat. Using blinds, sunscreens, blackout curtains, or shades could help lower your energy bills up to 30% by blocking up to 90% of the sun’s heat from getting into your home.

When using sunscreens on your windows the temperature in your home could lower by 12 degrees. This alone could make a huge difference in your home.

If you enjoy having natural sunlight and struggle to keep sunscreens closed or down, consider closing the sunscreens that are facing the sun directly while keeping the other windows open or slightly open. Keeping out the direct sunlight will give you the most benefit from your blinds while offering some of that natural light in.

There are several different window shade options for both inside and outside your home. Combining awnings with curtains could increase the amount of sunlight that is blocked, creating a cooler space for you.  

Ceiling Fan Rotation

Most ceiling fans have two rotation setting, clockwise and counterclockwise. During the summer months, you want to make sure your ceiling fans are set to spin counterclockwise. This creates the windy breeze that will help cool you down.

If you stand under your fan and do not feel a cool breeze your fan is set to rotate clockwise. This is used during the winter months to create an updraft. The updraft essentially pulls the hot air that rises back down to be redistributed in the room. This is not what you want in the summer months.

When using a ceiling fan you are able to slightly turn down your thermostat saving you energy. If you want more savings make sure to turn your fans off if you are not in the room.

Ditch the Incandescent Lights

Some light bulbs give off a lot of heat. Incandescent lights being one of them. These light bulbs use 90% of their energy through the heat they give off. Though you may not notice a huge change in the room by doing this you are making a difference.

Many people are going to LED lights as well as CFL’s. These light bulbs give off little heat and are energy efficient saving you money in the long run. LED lights, in particular, have long lives meaning less time spent changing bulbs for you.  

Get your Grill on

In the summer months, some people dread cooking. The thought of turning on the stove or oven when it’s hot could make you want to run off to the nearest restaurant. Though this is a great alternative to cooking, it can get a bit pricey.

Instead, head outside to the grill. Grilling your food will help keep your houses’ temperature down and still leave you with a cool place to escape the outdoor heat. Plus you get to show off your awesome grilling skills as well as fill the neighborhood with amazing bbq smells!

Home Improvements

There are several things you can do to your home and landscape to help keep your home cool. Many of these options can also increase the value of your home as well. Which is an added bonus!

Windows

We have already talked about adding sunscreens and shades but what about new windows? If your windows are old or they have seals that don’t seal properly, getting these things fixed or updated will help keep your home insulated and cool.

Newer windows may come with window tints which adds to the cooling effect in your home by decreasing the amount of sunlight to enter.

Landscape

If your yard is pretty bare, adding a tree or two can add shade to your home providing relief from the intense sun. You want to make sure you plant your trees on the sides of your house that gets the most sun. This is probably the most beneficial on the east and west sides of your home as that is where the sun rises and sets.

Adding vines or shrubbery may also help in cooling down your home though they are not as beneficial as adding trees to your yard.

Attic

If your home has an attic, checking the insulation is important. If your attic is not insulated you could be losing up to 20% of the cool air through your ceiling. Installing installation could greatly affect your energy cost.

It is also beneficial to be knowledgeable of how your home is insulated overall. Adding insulation throughout your home could help to keep your home cooler in the summer months and warmer in winter.

AC Unit and Duct

If you have an Ac unit, it is important to properly maintain it. This increases the life of the unit as well as ensures you aren’t spending a lot on wasted energy cost. It is advised people change their filters once a month as well as inspect your ducts. This can help decrease how hard your AC has to work to cool down your house. If you find any leaks in your ducts you will want to fix these to make sure your air is going and staying where you want it.

If it is time to replace your old AC unit looking for an energy efficient unit is the way to go. This provides efficient cooling ability with cost-effectiveness.

These five suggestions will help to keep your home cooler throughout those intense summer months and save you money in the long run. Staying cool and comfortable is important when trying to enjoy a relaxing day at home or entertaining friends and family.