Choose Energy-Efficient Window Treatments for Your Home Advantages of awnings Versatile and complementary, synthetic fabric awnings can be fashioned for just one window or an entire side of your home. Retractable awnings provide cooling shade in the summer and can be rolled up to let the sun’s rays in when temperatures dip. Blinded by energy efficiency Less permanent and more adjustable in the day-to-day needs of a windowed room, shutters, shades, draperies or blinds can be some of the most effective and simple solutions to temperature control. Though they range in efficacy, shutters are considered the most thermal efficient and may provide the best window insulation. Shades, draperies and blinds, however, are often chosen for their convenience and budget-conscious design. Depending on individual needs, these options may prove to be energy-efficient if selected for the proper color, fabric or material. For example, dual shades — with a white reflective surface on one side and a black heat-absorbing surface on the other — can be reversed with the seasons, providing for all varieties of weather conditions. Screen the surface of savings In addition to keeping critters and bugs out of open windows when letting a breeze in, mesh screens can offer additional support that open windows can’t provide. They can effectively diffuse solar radiation, which helps reduce heat gain in the summertime. High-reflectivity films for the win Films or reflective glazing can be a simple way to reduce heat gain in both the summer and the winter. Whether installed by the window manufacturer or purchased and self-installed, films and their overall efficacy rely on many factors, including the size of the window, its orientation, regional climate, building orientation and whether the window has interior insulation. One major disadvantage to films is that they can reduce interior light and impair outside visibility. Having an understanding of the options available may very well be your “window” into greater energy savings and temperature control of your home year round! For more helpful tips and tricks, visit our Energy Savings Center.