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4 Reasons to Purchase Custom Window Treatments to Help Keep Heating Costs Down

23 Sep

4 Reasons to Purchase Custom Window Treatments to Help Keep Heating Costs Down

Once you’ve decided that you don’t want temporary fixes to solve a long term heat loss from your windows, there are very valid reasons to purchase custom window treatments.

  1. If you decide on a cellular shade, you may even be eligible for a tax rebate. Hunter Douglas products qualify. If you choose another brand, be sure to check if it is eligible or not.  So besides the great energy efficiency you will get with a Duette® that will keep heat and cold out, you may even get part of it paid for!
  2. Cellular shades can come with several options to make them the perfect window treatment for your situation. They can be room darkening, they can come with a cordless lifting system, and they can also come as a Top Down/Bottom Up treatment which allows you to keep privacy and still let natural light in- a perfect scenario for a bathroom.
  3. If you decide on custom draperies, you will have the ability to choose from literally thousands of fabrics, and several styles of pleating or grommeted top styles. Drapery can also have a room darkening lining, or, if you have very drafty windows, your drapery can have an insulated lining to keep the drafts at bay, or keep the heat from making your room to warm.
  4. Drapery is also a great choice to help add your own style to a room, whether you choose a contemporary print or a traditional damask- it can help you insert a bit of your own personality into your choice.

Custom DraperyDuette Image

You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 on up, depending on fabrics, styles and how large your windows are. It is an investment, but it will give you pleasure everyday.  If you’d like more information, feel free to contact us and we will share our process with you. Don’t forget we have a free design service in the Washtenaw County area!

Custom window treatments are more expensive than taping or caulking or putting plastic up, but they also offer a much better option for the long term. They will save you year round on heating and cooling costs, will add beauty to your room, and will keep the sun’s rays from rotting your furniture, carpets or rugs.

Next week we will talk about touches you can use with paint to liven up a room.

5 Ways To Keep Home Heating Costs Down

16 Sep

howtoinsulateyourwindowswinter.jpg

Drafty windows can make life miserable in the winter, and cost you extra dollars in heating costs. We want to share some useful tips on how you can stop losing heat out of your drafty windows.

5 Tips on How to Keep the Heat Inside When You Have Drafty Windows

WeatherSeal

Tip #1: Use Rubber Weather Sealing

One of the least expensive options is a self adhesive weather strip tape. The strips are cut to fit your window frame and are a peel and stick strip. The will seal gaps in the frame to keep drafts out.

  • Pros: Cheap, fairly effective, easy to apply.
  • Cons: Can’t open windows if fresh air is needed, can peel paint or wood finish when removing, can leave a sticky residue.

Window Insulator Kit

Tip #2: Window Insulation Film
Window film can help make your home more energy efficient by covering the entire window and frame. Installation is easy with double sided tape. The film can be “tightened” by using a blow dryer to smooth out any wrinkles.

  • Pros: Fairly inexpensive, available at any hardware store, effective.
  • Cons: Can’t open windows if fresh air is needed, double stick tape can be difficult to remove, may not be available for larger windows.

Cellular Shades

Tip #3: Cellular Shades
Hunter Douglas Architella Honeycomb shades have won awards as “The Most Innovative Overall Design of the Year” by the Window Covering Manufacturer’s Association (WCMA). They have such great insulating properties that they are even eligible for a tax credit in 2013. Cellular shades reduce heat flow so they retain heat in Winter and keep it out in Summer, thus lowering energy bills.

  • Pros:  Work in both Winter and Summer, can open windows if fresh air is needed, come in a variety of colors, pleat sizes and textures.
  • Cons: Can be pricey, but overall savings may be worth it.

Insulated Drapery

Tip# 4: Insulated Drapery
Custom Drapery can be a beautiful way to insulate your windows. The insulated lining will keep drafts a bay. The choices are endless.

  • Pros: Can be matched to any decor, they are not your grandmother’s draperies anymore
  • Cons: Can be expensive, insulating lining may block daylight

Draft Snake

Tip #5: Draft Snakes
Last would be the use of a draft snake. Draft snakes are fabric tubes placed on a window sill or under a door to prevent cold air from creeping in. You can make one by sewing a tube of fabric to fit the width of your window and filling it with dried rice.

  • Pros: Cheap, easy to make as a DIY project.
  • Cons: It only insulates the window sill, not the glass or frame.

Next week we’ll discuss the options for a more permanent treatment, such as drapery or cellular shades and why you would want to work with Delux Drapery in the Ann Arbor, MI area.

Tips to Lower Your Home Heating Costs in Michigan

9 Sep

Fall is right around the corner, and here in Michigan we all know that means we’ll be battling the cold north winds soon enough. How can you keep your heating costs under control? We want to offer some general ideas and tips about things you can do to warm up your home & help keep costs down- from window treatments to high efficiency furnaces.

Heating Cost Reduction Tip #1: Be a Draft Dodger

In older homes, drafts around doors and windows can end up costing you a higher heating (and/or cooling) bill. Another place you could be leaking heat is from your duct work. There are some easy & inexpensive ways to remedy all of these areas.

Heating Cost Reduction Tip #2: Ask For Help

Once you have your drafts under control, you can turn to the utility company for some help keeping the sting out of your bill. Senior citizens, low-income and unemployed customers also may be able to get assistance from their state public-service commission or the utility provider. In Michigan, for example, all state-regulated natural gas and electric utility companies offer assistance and/or shut-off protection programs to assist families in need. Low-income homeowners and renters may be eligible for the Michigan Home Heating Credit.

Heating Cost Reduction Tip #3: Renovate

If you are up for spending a larger amount to save more money over the long run, some big-ticket purchases can pay real dividends.For more instant gratification, check with your state or utility company, which often offer tax credits or rebate programs for making those energy-efficient upgrades. If you are not up for big-bucks upgrades, some simple steps — such as wrapping hot water pipes with foam insulation and replacing weatherstripping around doors and windows — will still help keep you warm without draining your bank account.

Here Are More Tips to Ensure Your Home is Ready for Those Cold North Winds:

  • Open draperies and shades in winter to let in sunshine and close them at night to hold in heat. Remove awnings from sun-exposed windows in cold months. Prune any trees or shrubs that block sunlight.
  • Heat only those rooms that are in use.
  • Open draperies and shades in winter to let in sunshine and close them at night to hold in heat. Remove awnings from sun-exposed windows in cold months. Prune any trees or shrubs that block sunlight.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. Wear warm clothing indoors during cold weather. An electric blanket is much less expensive than heating your bedroom.
  • Get your heating system professionally cleaned and tuned to reduce the chance of breakdown midwinter. This simple step improves safety and pays for itself through greater efficiency.

Check back next week for more specific ideas and ways to treat your windows for greater efficiency.

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