Your house is probably robbing you blind, and you don't even know it. Heat is escaping from your windows in winter and entering in the summer without your permission. Overall, about a quarter of your home's energy loss occurs through your windows. The problem is that replacing those windows is expensive, and the return on that investment isn't that appealing in most cases. The good news is that there is one inexpensive upgrade that could help put a stop a large portion of the energy that is escaping out your windows.
Don't be blind
Most of us don't think that much about our window treatments. We should, because heat is transferred through our windows in the summer, which is adding to the cost to cool down your home. However, simply adding energy saving window treatments such as blinds or shades can help block some of this solar radiation in the summer. This prevents solar heat gain and decreases the need for air conditioning.
In the winter, window treatments can help to keep cold air out by adding another layer of insulation around the windows while also preventing the air you are paying to heat up your home from escaping. This helps to reduce the heating bill and makes the home more comfortable. Because of this, adding energy saving blinds to a home makes a lot of sense.
My wife and I are currently building a home in South Carolina. One of the reasons we chose to build is because new homes today offer significant energy savings when compared to existing homes. In addition to energy savings that come standard, we've chosen to add several energy-efficient options to our home that should save us a significant amount of money over the years. Despite all of these energy saving efforts, our new home still will need help from blinds so we're not wasting our energy saving investments.
In our case, we can save $137 to $255 per year by adding blinds to our home, according to window treatment maker Bali's energy calculator. That's a pretty good return on investment considering the approximately $1,000 investment we'd be making to add blinds to our home as opposed to other cheaper window treatments. Needless to say, we'll likely be adding blinds to nearly all of our windows.
What to look for
Making the decision to add blinds to a home is the easy part. The hard choice is determining which window treatments to buy, as home improvement retailers like Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) are loaded with choices.
In terms of energy efficiency alone, blackout cellular shades with double cell construction are a consumer's best bet. However, shutters, faux wood blinds, and wood blinds also help with energy efficiency. To see how much you could save, just click here for Bali's energy savings calculator.
The key to choosing an energy-efficient window treatment is to find one that creates an airspace barrier between the window and the room. To learn more about those options, Blinds.com has a great infographic that shows the energy efficiency differences between window treatments as well as other ways to prevent energy loss in your home.
Our home is robbing us blind. It is taking the air we paid to heat or cool down and literally throwing that money out the window. However, by adding energy-efficient window treatments, we can add an inexpensive upgrade that can stop this waste and save a lot of money over the long term.
What to do with your energy savings
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Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.