Window with blinds and curtains looking out on sunny day

Want to transform your ordinary home into an eco-friendly residence? Install energy-efficient window treatments, and you can revamp your home décor and reduce your energy bills at the same time.

Window treatments are becoming increasingly popular among U.S. homeowners — in fact, more than 27.7 million people purchased window treatments in spring 2015, up from 26.9 million in autumn 2014, according to a Nielsen Scarborough survey. As many homeowners continue to search for safe, cost-effective ways to enhance their home décor and lower their energy consumption, the number of window treatment purchases is likely to grow in popularity.

There is no shortage of insulated window coverings that offer an unbeatable mix of fashion and function. Here’s a closer look at three of the most popular energy-efficient window treatments.

1. Shades

Roman shades can be created in a range of materials, from wood to fabric. Photo:
Roman shades can be created in a range of materials, from wood to fabric. Photo:

Window shades represent a top choice for those who want to reinvent their home décor without having to worry about breaking their budget. They also serve as some of the most effective window treatments for saving energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Shades can be installed close to the window glass to create a sealed air space. Thus, closing your shades may help you maximize the performance of your heating and air-conditioning system, enabling you to lower your energy costs year-round.

Furthermore, shades come in many designs and patterns, ensuring you should have no trouble finding window treatments to complement your personal style.

From Roman shades that are available in a variety of distinct colors to cellular shades that have great insulating qualities (the more cells, the better the insulation) to solar shades that can reflect heat without blocking your view, shades can enhance your home décor and cut your energy bills at the same time.

2. Blinds

Window Blinds
Blinds come in multiple options, like this metal kind. Photo:

Blinds feature vertical or horizontal slats and have been shown to be especially effective at helping homeowners lower summer heat gains. Interior blinds can be opened or closed to block and direct sunlight and help control ventilation inside a residence. In addition, the DOE points out interior blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45 percent if they are completely closed and lowered on a sunny window.

With faux wood, wood and fabric vinyl options, blinds come in many different styles and price points.

3. Awnings

Windows that face south and west are good candidates for awnings. Photo:
Windows that face south and west are good candidates for awnings. Photo:

Awnings represent strong, durable window treatments that are constructed to last. They usually consist of synthetic materials such as acrylic and polyester and require ventilation to prevent hot air from becoming trapped around a window.

Homeowners may be able to reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows thanks to awnings, according to the DOE. Plus, both adjustable and retractable awnings make it simple for homeowners to control the amount of sunlight that enters their residences.

Feature image: Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

By Katie Laird

Katie Laird is the director of social marketing for and a frequent public speaker on social media marketing, social customer care and profitable company culture. An active blogger and early social technology adopter, you can find her online as “happykatie” sharing home décor, yoga, parenting and vegetarian cooking tips.