Are window shades the solution to our nation’s energy crisis? “Of course not” says Gordon Clements, president of Gordon’s Window Décor, manufacturer of EcoSmart insulating shades, “But they can play a huge role in the move towards energy independence.”
To Gordon Clements and his team, energy independence can only be achieved by cutting consumption. “All the oil that has been spilling in the gulf over the past three months is equivalent to the amount of oil used by the US in five hours – consumption is the issue.” says Clements, and he has a unique perspective on one way to reduce energy waste – focus on heat transfer through the present window stock in the uS.
The fact is, residential homes consume 21% of the nation’s energy and 42% of that energy is spent on heating and cooling, and 50% of that is literally wasted out of windows. An incredible 50% of all that wasted energy, the equivalent of 450 million barrels of oil, could be saved every year in the US if all we did is simply install effective insulating window shades.
For many, the inclination has been to install high-tech windows to control this waste. However because of the cost, labor and inconvenience, upgrading every underperforming window in every home in the US is unrealistic. On the other hand, getting everyone in the US to install insulating window shades is no more of a hurdle than getting folks to use energy efficient light bulbs. The shades are affordable, available across the country, and relatively easy to install.
“I’m a huge believer in using nature whenever possible to heat and cool a home. Venting your space to cool during the night in summer or allowing passive solar to heat in winter is critical to maximizing efficiency.” Says Clements, “in fact, older window stock may turn from a weakness to an advantage in exploiting passive solar. So you harvest all that great heat during the day and then lower the shades which will keep that heat from hitting the cold glass, and also cut off the convection current – the draft which carries the cold from the glass across the floor, chilling the room.”
EcoSmart shades use a double cell “honeycomb” fabric that is made out of bonded polyester which provides the highest insulating value. The bonded double honeycomb creates a barrier between the room and the window which means your heater and air conditioners don’t have to work as hard. The fabric is available in a variety of colors and there are many operating methods to fit any need – including motorization for hard to reach windows or for the handicapped.
“Saving energy is important, but it is impractical to expect a homeowner to forfeit style to do so,” says Kelly Conklin, manager of the EcoSmart product line. “Of course I am biased but I just think it is so awesome that we have a product that saves energy every single day and looks absolutely fabulous at the same time!”