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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Green Building Resource Center
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Page updated Jul 27, 2012 9:27 AM

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image for Window TreatmentEnergy-Wise Window Treatments

Thought those blinds, shades and curtains were just a way to get some privacy? Maybe just another way to decorate? That's not the only reason anymore.  Blinds are also, and most importantly, a way to save energy and money.

Window blinds are effective at controlling passive solar heating and reducing energy loss from your home or office. Think about this. In the winter you put a thicker shirt on to keep you warm. In the summer you wear a thinner shirt, but it protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Well, your home needs the same kind of protection.

Window shades are like a sweater for your house or office; they create a layer of insulation on the glass. This will either keep heat inside in the winter, or prevent heat from entering during the summer. This reduces the amount of heating or cooling required -- thus decreasing the amount of energy you consume!

Best-practices for how you should operate your blinds vary by the season. In the winter, close your blinds at night; open them on south-facing windows during the day. In the summer, close your blinds during the day. For maximum energy savings, choose insulated models, such as honeycomb shades. Blinds with a white surface (facing out) are most effective at reflecting outside heat to keep your rooms cool in the summer.

For more information, visit:

U.S. Department of Energy 
Starter Guide: Energy Efficient Window Treatments

Green Building Resource Center
301 King St., Room 4100
Alexandria, Va 22314
Fax: 703.519.3356

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.