Window coverings can help with your home’s insulation, and improve ultraviolet protection and sound absorption.

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When you are sitting in your home, temperature and aesthetics play a factor in the enjoyment of your space.

When the temperature drops outside, our thermostats go up, and so do our utility bills. Insulation plays a huge factor in the comfort of your home. That’s why, when it comes to choosing window coverings for the finishing touches of your home, an insulating shade may be the choice for you. It helps with insulation, ultraviolet (UV) protection and sound absorption.

An insulating shade works both in the winter and the summer to reduce heat transfer through the window. In winter, the window covering slows heat transfer going out of the home, keeping more warmth inside. During the summer, it slows heat transfer into the home, reducing the need for cooling.

Solar heat is brought into the home by direct or reflecting sunlight. The sunlight becomes heat when it warms the air and the furnishings in its path. The warmed furnishings in turn give off heat to the room.

To maintain comfort, the warmed room must be cooled, requiring more electricity (and more cost) than would be needed if the solar energy had been properly controlled by window coverings. You also want to protect your floors and furnishings from natural light; over time, with the sunlight shining in, UV rays will fade furniture, upholstery, wood floors, carpeting and artwork.

Another important energy-related function of window coverings is to diffuse incoming sunlight to soften it and bring it deeper into a room. This function is called “daylighting.” In addition to reducing glare and improving visual comfort, daylighting can sometimes save energy by reducing the need for electrical lighting.

There are a variety of looks and styles of products available that can bring elegance, comfort and energy efficiency into your home.

The Duette line of window treatments offers coverings in multiple cell sizes, horizontal or vertical orientations and color options that range from sheer to opaque. The Architella, for instance, is a honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb design that offers energy savings in both winter and summer.

The Applause honeycomb shade offers a streamlined selection of fabrics, colors and operating systems, and is made with triple-cell construction. The Applause Blackout Honeycomb has a top rating for UV protection.

The Vignette Modern Roman shade features consistent folds and no exposed rear cords, keeping windows uncluttered. Choose from different fold styles and sizes.

These are just a few options as you consider the best functionality and style for your space.

 

Jim and Amy Brooks are the owners of Window Coverings By Design and are members of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and HomeWork is the group’s weekly column. If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBA’s more than 2,800 members, write to homework@mbaks.com.