Options for home energy efficiency are growing by leaps and bounds, and even if you've already taken steps to make your home more conservation-friendly, there's yet more that you can do. Much of it centers on your windows, from the glass itself to coverings to shade in the yard. Putting even a couple of these tips to work should help your bills.
These heavy curtains are known as blackout curtains because they block out, or black out, most of the light coming through a window. Many regular curtains and blinds still let in quite a lot of light, and in summer, that also means letting in a lot of heat. The blackout curtains help reduce that heat and thus help reduce your air conditioning bills. At the same time, the thick material helps prevent heat from leaking out of your home in winter; those leaks make your furnace work harder, so stopping the leaks will help your furnace function more efficiently.
Sheer Curtain Liners
For times when you want some light in the room but also some privacy, so people outside can't see inside, get sheer curtain liners. These light-colored (usually white) semi-transparent gauze or lace liners are like what you see in a lot of UK TV shows. They block the view into your home but allow in enough light so that you can see without turning on a lamp. That saves you a bit of energy because you'll no longer be using electricity to ru the lamp during the day.
Possibly one of the better solutions to excessive heat in a room is window film. This stops a lot of heat by reflecting and blocking sunlight. The film covers the entire pane of glass in the window, so there are no sneaky side spots where heat and light can seep through. Film is especially good for skylights and very up-high windows that might not normally have blinds.
These are a thing. Now that dual-pane windows have become almost standard on new housing, the new thing to aspire to is triple-pane. These three-pane windows function like dual panes, just with an extra space and pane in the mix. This helps cut down on temperature transfer and heat loss or gain even more, helping out your air conditioner and heater.
If you have a chance to landscape the south and west sides of your property, plan for tall hedges and trees that block hot summer sun. You can find a number of fast-growing options, though be aware that some fast-growing trees have rather short life spans -- look for ones that last for a few decades at least. Let morning sunshine in on the east so that your property doesn't seem too subdued and dank.
If you want to get help with any of these things, contact remodelers and contractors like Film Solutions Unlimited, and try to work on getting window film added as quickly as possible. It's one of the easiest items to install and has an immediate effect.