shutterstock_104984105When it comes to paying the bills, energy costs can be huge - one that most people are looking to cut back on as much as possible. The environmental impacts aside, the monetary impact of paying for energy (especially in the San Antonio environment) often seem astronomical. So how can you reduce the amount you pay for heating or air conditioning?

There is a good chance that your windows are to blame. Much of the heat or cold air escapes through the glass or through poorly maintained window frames, making it a real struggle for you to keep your home within a comfortable temperature range. So how can you improve your window efficiency without actually replacing the windows?

The truth is, the window efficiency doesn’t even need to be that strong to accomplish energy savings. You just need the area in front of the window to be strong enough to keep the heat in or the cool air in. If you still don’t know what we mean, keep reading…


Curtains are simply long pieces of fabric that hang from a rod above the window. These days there are plenty of eco-friendly curtain options around. Having a good one hanging in front of your window can definitely improve the energy efficiency of your home, thus lowering energy costs. If you want to go the full mile, try buying curtains that are made from organic cotton or hemp, which come in a wide array of color options.


Drapes are slightly different from curtains in that they also are attached to sides on the rods above. Layered drapes are especially effective at blocking the intake (or let out) of heat or cool air from inside your home. It’s even better if you back it with a plastic bag (white in color, preferably). This can make you save up to a third of your heating intake in the summertime, and about a tenth of your heating loss in the wintertime. You can save another fourth by sealing your drapes (especially with an overlapped middle).


Shades should be placed right up next to the glass, allowing you full control of how much heat and light make it into your home. You can have shades in any color or pattern you like - the result will still be equally effective. There are many options in styles, such as the regular roller shades, woven shades, and softer fabric shades.

Blinds or Shutters

Blinds and shutters are especially effective because they can be tilted according to where the light outside is. There is one simple rule to keeping your blinds or shutters energy efficient: make sure the material is biodegradable. These types will lower the heat gain in your home by nearly 50%.

Other Options

There are two other options for people who are particular window gurus: valances and cornices. Valances are stylish and can add an extra layer of protection. Cornices are often paired with other window treatments (just like valances) and should also be used only if they are made of FSC-certified wood.