ORANGE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- Winter can be an expensive time of the year. Holiday shopping, skiing trips, and using your home's heating system to stay warm all contribute to increased financial expenditures. If you, like most homeowners, are looking for ways to save money for your winter activities, try a few house warming techniques that don't rely on the heater and you could be pocketing extra cash to fund one last trip to the slopes before the season ends.
There are many different ways to stay warm in your home without constantly running your heater. One of the best ways to retain the heat in your home is to use insulating window treatments. In cold weather, windows are the largest source of heat loss in a home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 30% of a home's heating bill comes as a result of not having insulating window coverings*. To keep heat in your home without constantly running your heating system, consider the techniques below. Many of these practices don't involve energy usage so they offer a great way to decrease your carbon footprint while saving you money.
- Use a humidifier since it will keep heat in the air for a longer period of time. If you don't have a humidifier, try leaving the door open when you take a shower.
- Door draft stoppers (draft snakes) are great for sealing the space beneath your doors. This will prevent cold air from coming into your home.
- If you are cold while sleeping at night, try switching your sheets from silk or cotton to flannel. Flannel traps more heat to help keep you warm all night long.
- If your dryer is located inside your home it can help increase heat every time you wash.
- Close the doors to any rooms not in use. Shutting the doors prevents heat from getting into that room and also keeps the cold in that room at bay.
- Switch your light bulbs to incandescent lights. The average incandescent bulb releases up to 95 percent of its energy as heat rather than light.
- Insulate your windows! Heat escapes through windows more than any other area of the home. Having energy-saving window treatments that insulate your home against heat loss is one of the absolute best ways to keep heat inside and thus save you money on your energy bills.
Insulation is measured using an R-value. The higher the value, the more insulation that particular product provides. For example, bare single-paned windows have a rough R-value of R2. Adding insulating window treatments can increase the R-value from R2 to R7 or higher. Higher R-value means better insulation and less heat loss. Less heat loss means happy homeowners and happy wallets!
Some of the best window treatments that provide insulation are available through your local Budget Blinds. Floor to ceiling drapery panels with liners, cellular shades and wood shutters are among the window treatments with the highest R-values, making them ideal for homes located in cold weather climates.
A drapery's R-value depends on several aspects. The main factors that affect R-value are: what fabric the drapes are made of, what color the drapes are, and how closely they adhere to the window's size. If you are using drapes to conserve heat in the winter, leave them open during the day on windows in direct sunlight and once the sun goes down, close them tight. To reduce the amount of heat that escapes past your drapes and out your windows, try hanging them as close as possible to the windows. For a more finished look, and to help keep heat from escaping, consider installing a cornice on top of your new drapery set. If you do everything possible to keep your windows insulated using draperies, you could reduce heat loss by up to 30%*.
Cellular shades are built from the ground up to provide the best in insulation. They are made using a honeycomb design that allows pockets of "dead air" to be trapped between the pleats of fabric. These pockets can help keep heat out during the summer and can help keep it in during the winter. For the best possible solution to insulating your windows, combine your cellular shades with draperies to provide unparalleled double-layer energy saving insulation.
*Information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-window-treatments)
Based in Orange, California, Budget Blinds was founded in 1992 and currently boasts over 800 franchise territories serving nearly 4,000 cities throughout the United States and Canada. The company offers customers a full line of quality window coverings and provides free in-home consultations as well as measuring and installation services. Budget Blinds has been recognized as a leader in the franchise industry by organizations such as Entrepreneur, AllBusiness, Inc. and Franchise Business Review. With a strong vendor alliance program and growing product portfolio, Budget Blinds is the clear franchising leader in the multi-billion dollar window coverings market.
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