Angie's List: Keeping Cool with Window Treatments - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Angie's List: Keeping Cool with Window Treatments

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(ANGIE'S LIST) - Blasting the A/C may keep your house cool in the summer...but it won't help your bottom line. If your budget could use a break -- you may want to focus on your windows -- or at least what's hanging around them.

Window treatments not only bring a stylish touch to any room, but they can also provide shade from the sun.

Experts say window blinds -- either vertical or horizontal -- can reduce solar heat gain by 45%. Insulated draperies can also improve your efficiency...but you need to pay attention to the fabric type and color.

Angie Hicks from Angie's List say, "When it comes to keeping cool in the summertime, grandma's advice about pulling the drapes on windows that face the west and the south still holds true. Using a medium-colored drape with a white plastic backing can cut your solar heat gain by 33%."

Certain window shades can also help slash energy costs.

"One of the most efficient window coverings is cellular or honeycomb shades. They have a gap of air between the cells, which helps as a barrier for that warm air and the heat coming in, that solar heat coming in," says Window Covering Company Owner Pat Rebb.

Shutters can be placed either on the inside or outside of your home.

"A shutter is also very efficient because it's covering also the sides of your window with a frame, when you do it with a frame, other than just a direct mount," says Rebb.

"Another way to tackle the solar heat gain in your home is awnings. Window awnings today are more fashionable than days gone by. There's different types of materials as well as colors and styles. The great thing about awnings is they can cut your solar heat gain by about 77 percent," says Hicks.

Awnings can be stationary or retractable -- giving homeowners the option of having an awning or enjoying the sunshine.

  The key to reducing energy use in your home is ensuring window treatments are installed properly. Angie's list found most window treatment companies do offer free in-home consultations.

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