If you’re like me, you dread the colder weather that has started to settle in. I hate feeling cold. It is probably in my top 10 least favorite things. The other thing that’s in my top 10 least favorite things is having a high electric and gas bill during the winter. No matter how much I bundle up, I can’t seem to keep the cold out of my house. Our windows, in particular, tend to transfer cold air well – especially since we don’t have energy efficient windows. Even if you do have energy efficient windows, you can still feel the cold trying to get in your home.
Luckily there are a few things you can do to keep the draft out this winter, without spending a lot of cash putting energy efficient windows in your house. Here are a few ways you can use energy efficient window coverings to save you money:
Thermal Window Curtains
Thermal curtains are a bit different in design and materials than regular curtains and a great efficient window covering. Generally they use a thicker fabric made from two layers sewn together. This helps block the transfer of cold and warm air (depending on the season) from entering the room. If it’s cold outside, the window naturally absorbs the cool air to try and equalize with the outside temperature. As a result, the window cools, which causes the air in the room to try and equalize with the window. Cool air has more mass than hot air forcing itself into your home. This vicious cycle creates the drafts in your home. When you place a curtain that reaches from the top of the window to the floor in between the window and the room, it walls off the cool air from permeating the rest of your room.
I bought some thermal curtains for my bedroom and I love them. I can definitely tell they help keep the draft from the sliding glass door from flooding the rest of the room. Plus they help keep my room cool in the summer by blocking the sunlight. At about $20-$40 or so for a set, thermal curtains won’t put a big dent in your wallet. With more colors and designs, you can fit them into your room décor, too. They’re definitely worth the money, in my opinion.
Interior Window Blinds
Another option is to install blinds. Vertical, horizontal, Roman, plastic, or wood – doesn’t matter what type they are, blinds can help create a draft barrier much like thermal curtains. During warmer weather, interior blinds can help keep the sun out in the summer, keeping rooms cooler. One thing to keep in mind is to install them so the blinds are flush with the wall or, even better, flush with the window. I don’t think these work nearly as well as thermal curtains in cooler weather, but they are certainly better than nothing and help temper your room.
Most shutters are used for decoration today, but they can help limit drafts in your home like blinds or curtains. Most people opt to install interior shutters to prevent drafts. Installing them inside your home allows for easier access to open and close them, as you need. Plus shutters can add some nice decorative elements to your room. Interior shutters do tend to need a wide space around them to open and close, making them a bit cumbersome at times.
You could also install exterior shutters, which offer the same benefits plus added home security and protection from the outdoor elements. They also don’t need interior space to open and close. Exterior or interior shutters are great, but are more expensive and require time to install.
Sealing off with Plastic and Tape
For the absolute cheapest method of winterizing your windows, buy some painters tape and some plastic sheets that you usually use to cover floors and furniture when painting. Use the tape to secure the plastic sheet around the window area. Granted, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing of all the options here, but it works well and it’s super cheap. My parents use this technique on the windows in their basement to keep the chill out, and it works pretty well.
If you’re looking for a rather inexpensive way to help make your home more energy efficient this winter, try adding a simple energy efficient window covering to keep out the cool drafts. While shutters need a bit more time and money to install, the added security benefits may be worth the extra money. If you seek a quick easy fix, try something simple like changing your curtains or blinds. To keep your house warm this winter, try adding some kind of energy efficient window covering to help save you money.