Creating Your Comfort Zone
Window treatments can go a long way toward boosting your home’s energy efficiency, keeping you comfortable. That’s because compared to insulated walls and ceilings, windows easily allow more heat to escape from a room in winter and more heat to enter a room in summer.
In fact, without energy efficient window coverings, a home can lose up to 30% of heating and cooling energy through its windows, according to the Department of Energy.
How Window Treatments Improve Energy Efficiency
Window treatments help with a home’s energy efficiency by providing insulation, controlling solar heat gain, and by using natural light to reduce the use of electric light (called daylighting), which saves energy. Here’s a look at each—and how they help create your comfort zone.
Providing insulation—winter/cool climates
In winter, or if you live in a cool climate, window treatments help insulate at the window, preventing heat from escaping and keeping a room warmer.
Open your window treatments during the day so that free solar heat from direct sunlight will warm your home.
On cloudy winter days, close your window treatments to add an insulating layer to your house that will keep warm air in.
At night, close your window treatments to add that insulating layer.
Controlling solar heat gain—summer/warm climates
During the day, close your window treatments to prevent the sun’s harsh rays from heating up a room, keeping it cooler (so your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard).
At night, keep your window treatments closed to keep the cool air in.
Natural light illuminating a room can make it more comfortable, and may even boost your mood at the same time. You can maximize natural light with window treatments that draw natural light into a room, reducing the need for electric light, which reduces energy use.
Energy Efficiency A-List
The Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC) is an independent organization, partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, whose mission is to provide consumers with reliable information about the energy performance of window attachments (blinds, cellular shades, roller and solar shades).
Hunter Douglas is the first company to receive an AERC certification for interior window coverings. Currently, Duette® (including the Alustra® Collection) and Applause® Honeycomb Shades, Sonnette® Cellular Roller Shades and select Designer Screen Shades are AERC certified. Visit our AERC page to learn more.
And on the AERC website, you can search for AERC certified products and compare window attachment ratings in categories such as Cool and Warm Climate Ratings.
Leading Energy-Efficient Styles
When it comes to window treatments, energy efficiency and comfort go hand in hand. And while all Hunter Douglas window treatments help you live more comfortably, the following are the best options when it comes to enhancing energy efficiency.
Cellular shades are the most insulating interior shades available anywhere. While you might think your vinyl blinds are helping save energy, field studies have shown that cellular shades outperform traditional vinyl blinds in terms of energy efficiency.
- Duette Architella® Honeycomb Shades—This style is the most energy-efficient cellular shade available, providing even greater insulation than Duette. That’s because its honeycomb within a honeycomb construction has more layers of fabric and insulating pockets than the single layer of fabric in Duette.
- Duette® Honeycomb Shades—The original cellular shade, featuring a unique honeycomb construction that traps air in distinct pockets, for an extra layer of insulation at the window. Available for every window shape, including skylights and European-style tilt and turn windows, as well as French and sliding doors.
Roller and solar shades
Roller and solar shades feature clean, contemporary lines, and help reduce heat gain in a room; solar shades also filter sunlight.
- Sonnette® Cellular Roller Shades—These modern cellular shades combine the insulating construction of a cellular shade with the clean lines and simplicity of a roller shade.
- Designer Screen Shades—Designed to provide UV protection while reducing glare and heat gain in a room, Designer Screen Shades are available in a range of openness factors so you can select the view and level of light you want.
Roman shades provide the benefits of a cellular shade but with the luxurious look of a Roman shade.
- Vignette® Modern Roman Shades—This style combines a light-filtering or sheer front shade with a room-darkening back panel; once the front shade is completely lowered you can adjust the back panel for varying levels of light control (and privacy). The room-darkening liner provides additional energy efficiency to already energy-efficient, beautifully woven Vignette fabrics.
- Vignette Duolite®—Vignette features exquisite woven fabrics, flat or contoured folds, and doesn’t have exposed cords on the back of the shade.
- Solera® Soft Shades—These shades combine the soft folds of a classic Roman shade with a cellular construction. They’re available in gorgeous woven and non-woven fabrics, colors, patterns, and textures, in both light-filtering and room-darkening opacities.
Side panels and drapery
Side panels and drapery add another layer of insulation at the window, while helping to prevent light gaps.
Interior shutters—whether wood or vinyl—add character to a room, while the natural insulating properties of wood and the air barrier inside vinyl shutters help create a more comfortable space.
In winter, open shutter louvers so the sun’s rays can help warm up interiors--or close them to keep cold air out. In summer, close louvres to help keep warm air and the sun’s rays out, so a room stays cooler, reducing air conditioning costs.
- NewStyle® Hybrid Shutters—Durable and beautiful, these hybrid shutters are great for high-traffic areas, and are available in a variety of colors and design styles.
- Palm Beach™ Polysatin™ Shutters—Because these shutters are made to take the heat, they’re ideal for windows exposed to sunlight and moisture, and are an excellent choice for damp or humid spaces. Made from a durable polysatin compound, Palm Beach shutters won’t warp, crack, fade, chip, or peel.
Energy Efficiency FAQ's
Q: What are the best window treatments for helping to keep my home cooler or warmer?
A: Based on our AERC rated and certified products, Hunter Douglas room-darkening Sonnette® Cellular Roller Shades, room-darkening Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shades and select Designer Screen Shades are the best- performing window treatments for keeping your home cooler when temps rise and warmer when they dip.
For more on Hunter Douglas insulating shades, please visit https://www.hunterdouglas.com/stories/insulating-shades.
Q: Are there any energy-efficient window treatments that are suited for sliding glass doors?
A: Our Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades are available with the Vertiglide® system, which is designed for vertical applications like sliding glass doors. Vertiglide uses the same fabrics as horizontal Duette Architella shades, providing an additional layer of insulation at the door or window.
Q: Does fabric opacity make a difference in energy efficiency?
A: Fabric opacity—the amount of light that passes through a fabric—does play a part in energy efficiency. Based on AERC energy ratings, room-darkening fabrics, as opposed to sheer, semi-sheer and light-filtering fabrics, help keep rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Q: Does cellular shade pleat size make a difference in energy efficiency?
A: Based on AERC energy ratings, pleat size can make a marginal difference in energy efficiency. So when deciding on a cellular shade, base your choice on the pleat size and color that will best complement your room.
Q: Do multiple layers of cellular fabric material make a difference in energy efficiency?
A: Yes, multiple layers of cellular fabric material do make a difference. That’s because multiple fabric layers allow for additional air pockets in cellular shades, and air pockets are what gives these shades their insulating properties.
Q: Does mounting a window treatment on the inside of the frame versus the outside of the frame make a difference in energy efficiency?
A: AERC rated and certified products are based on an inside mount. When determining energy efficiency, an inside mounted window treatment has less variables to take into account, such as overlap over molding, window hardware and frame distance from shade to wall, than does an outside mounted window treatment.
News and Updates
Hunter Douglas is the first to earn an AERC energy rating for window shades
AERC, Baltimore Gas & Electric launch nation’s first smart shade pilot program https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EqxIFQJvV8zelLezb_QSRjjl9rHheLCW/view?usp=sharing
Hunter Douglas Duette Architella PowerView Shade named winner in Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) 2020 Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow Connected Home Competition
Hunter Douglas Duette Architella PowerView Shade featured in 2020 Lighting & Homes for Tomorrow awards brochure
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