What does a good pair of sunglasses have in common with modern day window treatments? To be honest, a whole lot more than most homeowners realize. After all, think about all the things a good pair of shades can do for you. We’re talking UV protection, a break from blinding sunlight, even a little bit of privacy for those looking to hide behind their lenses every once in while. Throw a good pair of ski goggles into the mix, and you can add protection from inclement weather to that list as well. Believe it or not, choosing the right window treatments can do all this for your home, and more, if you know what to look for. Here’s a list of shopping tips to live by if buying new window treatments is on your to-do list.
- Style is Everything—When you start shopping, make sure you aren’t going in blind when it comes to the styles of window shades available to you. Curtains, drapes, Roman blinds, wood blinds, bamboo shades, cellular shades, and plantation shutters are just a few styles that come to mind. Focusing on function is important (in fact, deciding exactly what you want from your new window treatments will play a big role in the style you end up selecting), but so is choosing a set of window treatments that look great and complement your home. If you’re in need of a primer on styles, materials, and costs, contact a professional in your area to help catch you up to speed.
- I Wear My Sunglasses at Night—As part of determining the right shades for you and your home, be sure that you take personal privacy into account. Buying lace curtains for a picture window that faces a busy street is a little like purchasing a cheap pair of barely tinted sunglasses for a week long backpacking trip in the Sahara! Blinds, shutters, and retractable shades all provide varying levels of privacy that can be adjusted throughout the day, or you can opt for a combination of high and low privacy treatments, such as pairing up those lace curtains with heavy drapes that you can draw when the sun goes down.
- Remember Glacier Glasses?—We’re not sure if the 1980’s Glacier Glasses fad was the result of a need for Arctic eyewear or not, but the idea of sealing yourself off from the elements works just as well in the world of window treatments as it does with sunglasses. After all, windows are directly responsible for as much as 22% to 37% of an average home’s heat and cooling loss, according to Peace and Environment News. While any form of window treatment will add an extra layer of insulation to your windows, investing in treatments designed to provide maximum insulation (such as cellular shades or heavy drapes), can drop heating and cooling loss at your windows to almost nothing when the treatments are pulled. In an economy like this one, with home costs continually on the rise, that’s nothing to laugh at.
- UV Protection for the Recliner? —The verdict is out: UV rays are bad for your corneas and for your couch! In fact, most homeowners don’t realize how damaging the sun’s rays can be, even to interior surfaces in your home. The truth of the matter is that the sun takes a toll on everything from your furniture, to your flooring, to your wallpaper, and the more direct sunlight that you let in, the higher that toll is going to be. If you’re not big on living in the dark, look for a window treatment that is designed to help block direct sunlight, yet still let natural light into your home. Or you can opt for a more permanent solution to protect your home’s interior, such as window tinting or purchasing low-e replacement windows with added UV protection.
- Forget the Rose Colored Glasses: Go Green Instead—Last, but not least, it’s smart to think green when you choose your window treatments, and when we say green we’re referring to dollars and the environment. For example, choosing window treatments that insulate your windows well during both winter and summer will cut your heating and cooling costs year round, and reduce the amount of fossil fuels you use to heat and cool your home. You can also reduce your carbon footprint and your electric bill by choosing window treatments that let in plenty of natural light during the day so that you won’t have to rely on artificial lighting (i.e. light bulbs) to light your home. In short, it’s worth it to think green while you shop. You can save the world, and pad your pocketbook, at the same time.
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The arrival of spring has everyone looking outside the glass. With all that extra attention being paid to the windows on your home, you owe it to yourself to purchase a set of new window treatments that look great and perform to your highest expectations.