Windows are a fantastic way to bring life & nature into your home – they let in natural light, allow ventilation and give you a glimpse of the beautiful outside world. However, it’s important that your windows have coverings so that you can also enjoy your privacy, reduce glare and insulate your home.
Open plan homes and indoor/outdoor living trends mean that many new homes have walls filled with windows, and sliding and bifold doors. While these features are great at opening up spaces and provide an abundance of natural lighting, they can also make it tricky to keep your home warm or cool as the seasons change.
So, which window coverings should you use in your home?
- Blinds– Blinds have been a popular choice amongst homeowners for years, and for good reason. They’re excellent at preventing heat transfer through windows – just ensure they’re installed so the edges are flush with the wall, which will prevent heat from escaping.
- Shutters– Plantation shutters are a great choice in any home. They look stylish and are effective at controlling light and ventilation. You should make sure that the shutters are fitted tightly inside the window frame as any gaps will allow heat in during summer and allow it to escape during winter. Shutters and curtains can also be used together to provide even better cover and protection.
- Curtains– Curtains are ideal for regulating temperature in your home. Like blinds, they trap a layer of air between the window and fabric. However, unlike shutters and blinds, curtains come in a huge variety of prints and textures. Blockout curtains are the most common choice and are made from a fabric that is coated with an acrylic backing, making them even more effective at maintaining the ideal temperature. If you are on a budget, then curtains are your best option.
Regulating temperature & energy efficiency
While window coverings alone are effective, you should nevertheless be active about regulating temperature and conserving energy.
If the day ahead is going to be warm, keep your windows and window coverings closed throughout the day before opening them in the evening to let in the cool air.
During the colder months, letting in the sunlight is a great way to keep your home warm. Remembering to use your window coverings as soon as the sun disappears will help to entrap the heat and prevent you from needing a heater.
It’s also worth considering how external blinds and shutters can aid in the insulation of your home. Outdoor blinds or awnings stop cold air and sunlight from hitting & penetrating glass, thus reducing their impact on the temperature inside your home. Another key advantage of external blinds and awnings is that they can be retracted when experiencing nice weather, and can be easily extended when faced with wind, rain or intrusive light.
You might also consider installing alfresco blinds to enclose your outdoor areas, allowing you to enjoy them year round, regardless of the weather.