SOLUTION: Without a doubt, windows that are not covered with energy efficient undertreatments, such as double pane glass or specialty window films, will risk the chance of letting electricity costs heighten and place a strain on a homeowner's precious energy budget.
Many energy-cutting solutions exist that may be aesthetically pleasing and cost appealing at the same time. These include replacing existing windows with energy efficient ones and looking into energy efficient interior treatments such as quilted window shades, pleated and cellular shades, one- and two-inch metal blinds, sheer panels and shutters. Don't forget, exterior treatments such as awnings also can reduce the negative effects of sunlight while maintaining the view.
In California, logging onto the Web site for the Southern California Edison Co. (www.sce.com) will provide a vast amount of energy information along with rebates that are being offered for including energy efficient products in homes.
Many clients are set in their ways when it comes to maintaining their views and do not pay any attention to the possible outcomes of not treating their windows in an energy efficient manner. As a window treatment professional, it is always a wise idea when you are designing window treatments to offer clients ideas for saving energy while designing treatments that are pleasing to the eye at the same time.
Check with your window coverings suppliers. Specifications on the energy efficiency of each window treatment product should be readily available. This information may also serve as a selling tool for window treatments. You might even want to think about sending out a mass mailing to your clients including a brochure on energy efficiency with your business card attached. Let me know what happens!
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.