(WDEF) Window treatments not only bring a stylish touch to any room, but they can also provide shade from the sun.
Experts say window blinds, either vertical or horizontal type, can reduce solar heat gain by 45%.
Angie Hicks of Angie's List said, "When it comes to keeping cool in the summertime grandma's advice about pulling the drapes on windows that face the west and the south still holds true. Using a medium-colored drape with a white plastic backing can cut your solar heat gain by 33 percent."
Certain window shades can also help slash energy costs.
Pat Rebb runs a window covering company. She said, "One of the most efficient window coverings is cellular or honeycomb shades. They have a gap of air between the cells which helps as a barrier for that warm air and the heat coming in, that solar heat coming in."
Shutters can be placed either on the inside or outside of your home.
Rebb added, "A shutter is also very efficient because it's covering also the sides of your window with a frame, when you do it with a frame, other than just a direct mount."
Awnings can be stationary or retractable, giving homeowners the option of having an awning or enjoying the sunshine.
Matt Garvey owns an awning company. He said, "The new fabrics that are out now relative to 30 years ago are just phenomenal. The typical pro-rated warranty is for 10 years but generally you're going to get 12 to 15 years out of the fabric, which is a great thing relative to a dollar per year cost of the product."
The key to reducing energy use in your home is ensuring window treatments are installed properly.