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Energy Savings Through Window Treatments

Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

Even after you've weatherstripped and caulked them, windows in older homes can still be drafty. Here's another line of defense against the chills: window treatments. The right shades, curtains, and even blinds will help retain some portion of the estimated 10 to 30 percent of heat lost through windows in wintertime. Follow our pointers to keep drafts from messing up your comfort zone.

Go Cellular

Photo by Ted Morrison

Honeycomb or cellular shades trap cold air near windows. Those with more cells trap more air, but they're also more opaque, so they let in less light.

Hang Tight

Photo by Ted Morrison

Mounting shades or blinds inside your window casings is the best way to minimize drafts. If you have to mount them outside, make sure they cover the entire casing to trap as much cold air as possible.

Mind the Gap

Photo by Ted Morrison

Inside-mounted window treatments should be installed about ½ inch from the windowpane. And they should fit snugly, too—just shy of touching all four sides of the opening.

Dress in Layers

Photo by Ted Morrison

Combine shades, sheers, and curtains to get solar heat gain when you want it and draft-busting when you need it. The Department of Energy says that pairing close-fitting drapes with a cornice can reduce airflow around windows by up to 25 percent.