We’ve all heard the terrifying statistics surrounding climate change and carbon emissions in recent years. Although the major contributors to these problems are large corporations, making minor changes around your home, such as installing insulating window coverings, can help minimise your carbon footprint and reduce your energy consumption.
Small acts of consciousness can make a difference. Not only is insulating your home a smart investment for the future of our planet, but it also helps you cut costs on electricity bills while staying comfortable in the harsher seasons. Blinds and curtains are a simple way to improve your home’s value and liveability, and there are multiple options available to suit your exact preferences.
What Is Insulation?
To put it simply, insulation is any material that was designed to prevent heat or sound from being transmitted from one area to another. Insulation stops heat from entering your home in summer and exiting it in winter. Insulation can be used intelligently to confine the heat or sound to a certain section of the house. Materials that consist of tiny pockets of air, such as fabric curtains and blinds, are great insulators because they hold the air still so it can trap heat, creating high levels of thermal resistance.
The Connection between Windows and Energy Loss
Most homes are built with windows that cover 15-20% of the external walls’ surface area. Many modern homes are designed with additional windows for aesthetic purposes, which is great if the windows are properly insulated.
Windows lose and gain more heat in winter and summer than any other surface of the home, meaning homeowners are spending more than they need to on temperature regulation. For example, a double-pane window can allow as much as 10 times the amount of heat to exit a house compared to the same sized surface area of a typical wall. Additionally, uncovered windows allow solar energy and UV rays to heat the interior space and inflict sun damage on surfaces and furniture.
Depending on where you are in Australia and the applicable climate zone, heating and cooling has been found accountable for between 20% and 50% of the total energy usage in residential buildings. With an energy-efficient air conditioner, you will save huge amounts of money for each degree you can increase the temperature by. The same applies to decreasing the temperature of your heating.
In other words, an air conditioner that has to be run at 16 degrees to try and keep a room comfortable is working overtime, and the stress will be reflected in your energy bills.
How Does Energy Use Impact the Environment?
There isn’t a single energy source that doesn’t have some effect on our environment. Of course, fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources do considerably more harm than their renewable counterparts. Mining, fracking, land clearance, water pollution, endangered wildlife, and methane emissions are all negative side effects of our reliance on energy sources. That’s not to say we should stop using power altogether; however, minor adjustments in our daily lives can help slow down these effects while world leaders work towards a solution.
Installing thermal window coverings, minimising power consumption, insulating our walls and roofs, conserving water, and recycling plastics are all small steps we can take in our homes to assist with environmental efforts. When it comes to choosing your window coverings, there are a few high-quality options available, depending on your style preferences.
Insulating Window Blinds
Appropriately sized and installed blinds will create a layer of still air between the fabric and the surface of your windows. Air flows slower through these spaces than it would if the window was uncovered. Although any window coverings will help with direct heat absorption by reflecting the sunlight back outside, properly insulated blinds are much more efficient in summer.
Roman blinds are a great example of heat, light and sound control, and they can be made with a large range of fabrics for you to choose from. The insulated curtain lining is added afterwards to achieve an almost block-out effect. If you choose a window covering based on aesthetics, pairing it with an interior roller blind will give your home an additional layer of protection and insulation.
Motorised blinds are fantastic methods of insulation. Modern motors have been developed to incorporate sun, wind, and rain sensors that will react immediately to the weather. You can also set a schedule for your blinds to open and shut, removing the need for diligently raising and lowering your blinds every day.
Choosing Curtains for Insulation
Most kinds of cloth material are poor heat conductors, but this is a good thing! If you install airtight curtains that are properly fitted to every edge of your windows, you should see a substantial drop in your energy usage. Thermal curtains are thick curtains with multiple layers of fabric and a single layer of foam that works together to create a vapour barrier. These window coverings have been specifically designed to prevent heat, light and sound from entering or leaving a room.
There is no major difference between thermal curtains and blinds when it comes to insulating your home. What you choose comes down to your personal style and the design of your house; however, you can pair both options with outdoor blinds to add an additional layer of protection from sunlight and heat. Installing window coverings will improve the energy efficiency of your rooms for a fraction of the price of replacing older windows and ineffective frames.
Where Can You Buy Insulating Window Coverings?
Alfresco Blinds Co is Melbourne’s leading expert in all things window coverings. Melbourne residents are a prime example of the benefits of insulation in homes because the freezing cold winters and scorching summer days make it challenging to create a comfortable living space. Luckily, this is where we come in.
Specialising in blinds and curtains for the interior and exterior of Victorian homes, our innovation and attention to detail ensure customers receive exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for effective insulation, noise reduction and light control, speak to the friendly team at Alfresco Blinds Co today. You can call us on 1300 735 077 or request a free quote online.