windowIt’s no secret that windows are responsible for as much as 30% of the energy loss in a home. That is money that is essentially getting thrown out said window, much to the dismay of your wallet and the environment.

But there are some ways to help prevent that loss of energy even without replacing all the windows in your home: window treatments.

There are two main places that energy seeps in around windows: the glass and the frame.

The glass, if it is old enough, can be porous enough to let in or out a minimal amount of air, which can increase your energy costs. But the bigger culperate is the sunlight that will come in through the glass. Obviously in the winter you want to do what you can to let this sunlight and the natural, free heat that comes with it heat up your home. But in the summertime it can be hard to try to prevent that same heat from coming in.

The frame, depending on how solidly it is constructed can have gaps and holes that will cause drafts around the windows and can be as bad as just leaving the window open.

Not all window treatments are created equal when it comes to preventing energy loss from these key places.

Curtains, for example do very little to stop hot air from leaching into your home on summer days. They prevent a bit of extra energy costs by blocking some of the residual heat that might come in from sunlight, but that is about it.

Blinds are a little bit better. Since they have a more solid barrier they block more of the potential air flow from cracks around the seams of the window and more of the sunlight that can cause rooms to heat up during the day.

But your best option for energy efficiency is a window treatment that is fitted to the actual window, like plantation shutters. They provide the maximum seal around the window to stop any drafts in or out. They also obviously prevent most of the sunlight from warming up a room too much, especially since there are materials these shutters can be made out of that will absorb even more energy that blinds or traditional wooden shutters.

The idea of plantation shutters might not fit with the image you have for your home, but they can easily fit in to modern design. So consider adding them to your home the next time you’re cringing at your electricity bill.


Gina Vasselli is a writer living in Myrtle Beach who works on behalf of a number of companies, from those that sell Southern food to those that sell Plantation Shutters in Charlotte.