Happy Monday bill slimmers! It’s time to take the fourth step toward reducing your electric bill — making the most of your window coverings!
Step 4: Wear Your Shades
You probably have blinds or curtains for privacy throughout your home. But did you know that making the most of your window coverings can actually go a long way toward keeping your heated and cooled air inside — and keeping the sun’s rays out?
Use What You’ve Got
You don’t need to go buy all new drapes — start by being conscious about keeping blinds and drapes closed during the day, especially on windows that get lots of direct sunlight. According to the government Energy Saver website, “highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by 45%” when they’re completely closed and lowered on a sunny window.
Cover Up When You Can
If you do need to add new draperies or blinds, hang them as close to the window as you can to maximize energy efficiency. The thicker your drapery panels, the more effective they will be at keeping out heat. Nowadays, you can find draperies with thermal liners (as a bonus, they almost always provide blackout coverage). Some even have magnetic or Velcro closures to seal the panels to the sides of your window frame as well as to close the spot where the two panels meet in the middle of your window.
Think Outside the Box
In addition to the window coverings you use inside your house, don’t forget about ways to shade sunlight from the outside. If you’re thinking long-term, you can always plant trees that shade windows to provide relief. If you need a quicker solution, exterior mesh window screens are particularly helpful on windows that face east and west (and get morning and afternoon sun). They’ll also keep out bugs so you can open your windows and enjoy the breeze when the weather is nice.
Be sure to check out all the Energy Saving Tips available in our Learning Center. If you missed last month’s bill-saving tip, be sure to go back and read our advice for sealing your outlets. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Current blog to catch next month’s tip to help you save money on your electric bill.