Focus on windows to cool your house

LEWISTON, ID - Blasting the A/C may keep your house cool in the summer, but it won't help your budget.

Instead, you may want to focus on your windows, or at least what's hanging around them.

In today's Angie's List report, the best window treatments to block out summer heat.

"The new fabrics that are out now relative to 30 years ago are just phenomenal," said Awning Company Owner Matt Garvey. "The typical pro-rated warranty is for 10 years but generally you're going to get 12 to 15 years out of the fabric, which is a great thing relative to a dollar per year cost of the product."

"When it comes to keeping cool in the summertime grandma's advice about pulling the drapes on windows that face the west and the south still holds true," said Angie's List Owner Angie Hicks. "Using a medium-colored drape with a white plastic backing can cut your solar heat gain by 33 percent."

"A shutter is also very efficient because it's covering all the sides of your window with a frame, when you do it with a frame, other than just a direct mount," said Window Covering Company Owner Pat Rebb.

"Another way to tackle the solar heat gain in your home is awnings," said Hicks. "Window awnings today are more fashionable than days gone by. There are different types of materials as well as colors and styles. The great thing about awnings is they can cut your solar heat gain by about 77 percent."

"If you are also thinking about replacing your windows, do that first because you are going to spend money replacing the blinds and shades again, those coverings will not fit if you are replacing your windows so always do the windows first," said Rebb.

The key to reducing energy use in your home is ensuring window treatments are installed properly.
Angie's List found most window treatment companies do offer free in-home consultations.