HEATING AND COOLING
Energy efficient window treatments translate into year-round savings on heating and cooling costs. The more heat loss and heat gain they prevent, the more money will be saved in keeping rooms warm in winter and cool in summer.
Winter Comfort: R-Values
A product's R-value is simply a measurement of its ability to keep heat in and cold out. So, the higher the R-value, the better that product is at retaining indoor warmth. For example, with an R-value of 4.00, the selected product stops about 75% of the heat loss through the window, resulting in substantial and continuous savings in energy costs.
Summer Comfort: U-Factors
A product's U-factor is a measurement of its ability to reflect heat. For example, if a window treatment reduces heat by 80% to 95%, this translates into a summer U-value of 0.20 to 0.05. The lower a product's U-factor, the more effective it is in reflecting heat.
Ultraviolet light, entering the home as sunlight, damages furnishings. In time, it fades wood floors, furniture, upholstery, draperies, carpeting and artwork. Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes natural, undyed fabrics to turn yellow, weakening their fibers and making them look old and worn prematurely.
The right window covering can be very effective in blocking ultraviolet rays. Such effectiveness is measured in terms of a "% UV blockage" rating. The higher the rating, the greater the UV protection.
Sound absorption ratings measure the amount of reflected sound absorbed by the window covering. If noise is a concern, choose a window covering that soaks up sound, as indicated by a high sound absorption rating.
The scale for sound absorption is in a range from 0.00 to 1.00, where 1.00 means total, 100% absorption of a sound. The scale can be equated with percentages --- for example, a value of 0.35 would indicate approximately 35% sound absorption.