Treat your windows right to save on your energy bill
Even though living in a rental comes with some expenses that cannot be avoided, there are ways to keep the budget at a decent limit without too much of a hassle, but with a bit of awareness and planning. The security deposit is not something you can dodge, but the monthly bills you can turn into friendlier letters from your providers; here are some summer tips.
The general conceptions regarding window dressing is related to beauty rather than function, but why not take both into consideration? It’s mostly a matter of choosing the right materials and proper placement, and you can turn these decorations into savings on your monthly energy bills. Before you blast the air conditioning, check some of these window treatment ideas and let us know the results in the comment section. The United States Department of Energy advises that a set of medium-colored drapes backed with white plastic reduces solar heat gain by 33 percent.
Shades – are considered the most effective and simple way to save energy. The key though is proper installment. Mount them as close to the glass as possible and right up against the adjacent wall as this way it creates a tight seal that minimizes not only heat gain, but also heat loss. The ideal ones are those with dual layers of fabric, with a light color on one side and a darker color on the other as they add more functionality – you can reverse them based on the season – the light color will reflect heat during the hot months, and the dark color will attract heat during winter.
Blinds – the beauty with these is that both interior and exterior ones will help reduce heat while allowing light, ventilation, and privacy. Apparently, white ones, when closed and lowered on a sunny window, can reduce heat gain by 45 percent. Of course, the exterior blinds are more effective as they block heat before it reaches the window, but it’s not an easy task to add them to an existing window and are best to be added on new constructions.
Drapes – are ideal in both the hot and the cold seasons as, depending on the fabric weight and color, they can insulate the home from both heat gain and heat loss. Just like shades, a tight seal is needed to maximize performance. Hand them form a cornice or up to the ceiling down to the floor, and place them as close to the window as possible.
Awnings – are those chic decoration pieces that add personality to the exterior of your home, but even more importantly, offer fantastic defense against the sun in those areas with extreme hot weather. These cuties can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent for south-facing windows and 77 percent for west-facing windows.
Renter’s Insurance – is the kind of sunshine you want to let in. Even though it sounds like adding another expense to your already succumbing bank account post move-in, renter’s insurance is an absolute must. Break-ins, fires, thunderstorms, do happen – better pay a few hundreds of dollars in small amounts than to have to replace all your belongings in the event of mishaps. Resident Shield can get you covered.