If you are anything like us, being in a windowless room likely puts you on edge; it feels stuffy, confined and oppressive, more institutional than homely. This is because windows allow natural light, fresh air and extended views into the building, making it feel bright, open and more spacious. However, in installing these essential architectural features, we face the challenge of regulating the temperature when the weather outside is anything but mild.
As a result of our windows allowing air to escape or heat to be lost or absorbed through their panes, we end up wasting a lot of money heating and cooling our homes inefficiently.
It is estimated that window energy transfer accounts for around 25% of yearly heating and cooling expenditures, and in older homes, this figure can rise to a whopping 40%!
A single pane of glass can lose ten times as much heat as an insulated wall during colder months of the year, and then when the weather warms up, 87 per cent of a home's heat comes in via the windows.
For many homeowners removing old and installing brand new, energy-efficient double or triple glazed windows won't be a practical or cost-effective solution for maintaining a steady interior temperature in their homes.
Thankfully, there is a range of affordable and stylish window furnishings from Amaru that will significantly improve your home's insulation, reducing your energy bill and carbon footprint.
It is possible to reduce your home's energy use by using window treatments in three ways:
Although natural light is healthy and desirable, allowing full, unfiltered sunlight to pour in during the height of a summer's day can cause your home to become unbearably hot. To keep your interiors cooler and avoid using the air conditioner, thermal block-out window furnishings let you control how much sunshine gets in.
Good quality window furnishings, and accessories such as pelmets, when properly installed, can considerably reduce heat loss by retaining warmed air inside, away from glazing and minimising the quantity of cold air that enters from the outside.
Opening curtains or blinds during the day to allow winter sunlight into your home and then closing them before the afternoon chill sets in can raise ambient room temperature, so heater thermostats can take longer before triggering. Passive solar heating can be made even more efficient through smart home automation.
The good news is Amaru offers a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to finding an energy-efficient window covering. Personal preferences, climates, usage, and position in the house all play a role in your selected style. Curtains, blinds, and plantation shutters are the most popular window treatment choices in Australia.
Heavy curtain fabrics perform best in terms of thermal efficiency and are excellent for blocking out light. To ensure your curtains are most effective, they should be fitted with an enclosed pelmet at the top or drop straight from the cornice.
Otherwise, a convection current can form where the warm air inside will rise to the top of the window and be dragged down into the area between the window and curtain; cold air outside the window pane then cools the warm air and increases condensation.
Pelmets can be attached to sit over an existing curtain or concealed behind the curtain for a modern, attractive appearance.
When it comes to energy control, blinds provide a wealth of options. As with curtains, your blinds must be fitted snugly to the window to avoid air gaps around the edges.
While some blinds do not offer the same level of heat protection as curtains, Amaru's exclusive Thermacell range uses innovative honeycomb-shaped fabric pockets to trap air creating a layer of insulation between your windows and living space.
Blinds are an excellent option for small and narrow windows. Dual roller blinds offer the ability to easily switch between total blockout to a sheer blind to allow filtered light in to assist temperature control and add privacy.
Shutters with adjustable blades are a popular choice for interior window styling. Not only do these wood or PVC window coverings offer excellent privacy, but they also block out a significant amount of light – even when the blades are tilted open.
The key to energy savings with shutters is to ensure that the furnishings have a good seal and a structured design. It is critical for those interested in timber shutters to consider the material's sourcing and manufacturing practices. Amaru only supply sustainably sourced timber shutters.
Windows are a sensible place to start if you're aiming to save energy in your home because installing energy-efficient window treatments is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact and save money.
For expert advice on choosing the best energy-saving curtains or blinds to suit Melbourne or Canberra homes, contact the Amaru team for a free measure and quote.