While it’s important for renters to practice energy conservation in their apartment homes, there are numerous things that property managers can do in order to conserve energy on a larger scale. Remember, window coverings, while decorative, also provide an important function, serving as a barrier to outside heat in the summer, while keeping heat inside during the winter. It’s currently estimated that about 40 percent of outside heat comes through windows, while 10 percent of heat is lost through windows during the winter, so while it’s important to keep those shades or curtains closed, it may be time to upgrade your property with more efficient window coverings.
One of the biggest energy savers are ‘smart shades’ that help conserve energy. And while just about any window covering is better than nothing, with current energy prices increasing, managers may want to start thinking about replacing those traditional blinds and window shades with more energy efficient ones.
Here are some popular options that you may want to consider:
- Energy Efficient Cellular Shades – Cellular shades help to filter out damaging UV rays. The shades contain cellular air pockets inside that shield living space from cold drafts in the winter months. During the summer, direct sunlight and damaging UV rays are blocked by blind fabric while the same air pockets that blocked cold air from entering the unit also work to trap cooled air inside, preventing energy waste year round. Cellular shades are available in single cell and double cell design, with double cell structure offering the most energy efficient savings possible.
- Blackout Shades – The blackout shades on the market today are nothing like the old blackout curtains used by hotel rooms, and older apartment buildings in places like Las Vegas, where there is an active workforce around the clock. Blackout shades block 99% of incoming light and are an excellent choice for extremely sunny climates. Blackout shades are also very energy efficient, blocking UV rays from entering the apartment.
- Thermal and insulated shades – These shades are designed with up to four layers of insulation and are made to fit as closely to windows as possible. Insulating window panels also offer insulation from the heat, but typically block out most light as well. For extremely hot areas such as the south, or desert southwest, managers may want to consider outdoor window treatments which block the sun from penetrating windows and doors.
There are a variety of options available, some very reasonably priced, others presenting a significant investment, but either option will ultimately save both energy and utility costs.