Energy-Efficient Decorations for the Home

While no substitute for good construction materials, insulation and sun orientation, thoughtful decor can greatly increase your home’s energy efficiency, provide greater comfort, and lower utility bills.


| January/February 2002


There are so many ways to make a house energy efficient, and the most important choices happen at construction. But many of us must be content with drafty older houses or cheaply constructed newer houses, and may feel at a loss for elegant solutions to our expensive and wasteful climate control problems. If, for warmth, you’ve ever been known to tack heavy plastic to the windows or huddle around a halogen bulb, take heart. A few deliberate décor choices can help you create interior spaces that are energy efficient and beautiful.

In a well-designed house, warm air stays inside in winter and outside in summer. It’s a simple principle. The goal is to be the master of this energy flow so you can enjoy natural light and breezes when you want them and snuggle up tight inside a hibernating den when you’d rather keep nature’s forces at bay. Think of your walls and floors as big, semipermeable surfaces and your windows as gaping holes. The decorative materials you choose should intelligently support or offset their existing insulating and heat-resistant qualities.

Window Treatments

On average, 25 percent of warm or cool air in the home is lost through the windows. It’s important to have efficient windows (see “Window Shopping,” page 74), but the window treatments you select can significantly improve their performance.



Sunlight streaming through a window brings heat into the room. To keep the sun out, reflective light-colored blinds are one option. If you prefer dark colors to match your decorating scheme, look for products backed with light colors or a thin layer of aluminum that will reflect some of the sun’s rays. Blackout shades or drapery liners are also effective options for reducing solar heat gain. You may encounter window treatment products rated with a summer shading coefficient, which measures their effectiveness in preventing solar heat from entering the house. Low numbers are best (a window treatment that reduces heat gain by 75 percent has a shading coefficient of .25; one that reduces by 90 percent has a coefficient of .10).

Cooler climates and seasons present the opposite challenge. Cellular (honeycomb) shades are a versatile method of retaining heat. The air pockets in their layered-fabric construction trap interior air and prevent it from escaping through windows. Sold in many colors, fabrics, degrees of opacity, and thicknesses, cellular shades add 2.0 to 4.8 R-value to windows.

Anabell Jones
12/15/2013 8:37:57 AM

The energy efficient homes should also offer a better sounding experience to us, or the taste of life will be taken away. The wooden interior that you showed in snaps looks beautiful, but how does it sound without http://mixmasteredacoustics.com/custom-acoustic-panels/ is also very important. It is so important that the deals on homes can either make or break only because of the sounding factor. Besides, sound proofing is also very important.








mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265