Select the Right Window Covering For Your Home
Shades or blinds? Blackout drapes or decorative sheer curtains? More privacy or more light? When selecting home window coverings, there are many choices and many decisions to make. Here are a few tips that may make your decision just a bit easier.
1) What floor? Rooms on the first floor generally need more privacy than those on upper floors. First floor bedrooms especially need window coverings that provide a good amount of privacy. There are great floor-to-ceiling blinds that can provide both light and privacy, while heavy blackout drapes can keep out the light when desired.
2) Light. Different fabrics control the amount of light entering a room. Heavy blackout drapes, the kind used in hotels, can make you think it is the middle of the night even in the middle of the morning! Blinds and shutters work great for light control. Decide what is important – privacy or light and then base your purchase on that decision. The thickness of the fabric will determine how much light is let in.
3) Got space? If you have a large room, your window covering choices are endless. However, if the room is the size of a postage stamp, you want to choose wisely. Heavy drapes and large, elaborate window coverings will make a small room appear even smaller. Have your window covering match your space.
4) Functionality. For families with very young children, it is advisable to find window coverings without long cords. Motorized systems are a great choice as they allow for easy operation with just the touch of a button on the remote. You should also consider the amount of cleaning and maintenance necessary – coverings with many pieces and parts may need more maintenance, and blinds or shutters may require more time to clean.
5) Energy efficiency. You have probably heard that windows are rated according to their energy efficiency, but did you know that window treatments are also rated? A wall has an insulating value of R12 to R40 (and must meet local building code specifics), while a bare window has a value of R2. Learning about the energy efficiency values for window treatments will help you make wise choices and lower your energy bill. When selecting window coverings, consumers are generally interested in privacy first, followed by cost, comfort, and style. Most consumers have not heard of these R-values, but with energy costs rising, it might be time to consider the insulating value of window treatments when selecting the right ones for your home.