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Instead of replacing windows, consider adding blinds

Published On: Jan 11 2013 10:22:21 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 01:05:51 PM CST
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(NewsUSA) - Being aware of your home's carbon footprint takes targeted effort, but it can also save you money. Incorporating eco-friendly additions into your home can massively reduce energy bills and save on repairs.

According to CellularWindowShades.com, up to 24 percent of a fuel bill can escape out of leaky windows. But replacing windows can cost anywhere from $400 to $800 per window. Depending on the size of your house and the state of your windows, total cost could be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

One affordable yet environmentally efficient option is insulating window shades. There's some hesitation around insulating shades, but here are a few questions and explanations straight from the expert's mouth.

Q: Our windows are cold. Do we need to replace them, or can we use insulating shades?

A: If your windows are no longer functional, and your energy bills are off the charts, go with replacement windows. However, if they are simply old and cold, homeowners might want to consider high-quality insulating shades with side tracks that provide a four-sided seal. Shades like these will solve your heat-loss problems immediately.

Q: How do I know if insulated shades are the right option for my home?

A: Quality insulated shades are part of a good energy-conservation plan. After installing energy-efficient CFL bulbs, insulated shades are the next step. Mini-blinds can transfer the cold from your window into the room, increasing your energy costs by 10 percent. Insulating shades can reduce that by half.

Q: What are the environmental benefits of using insulated shades?

A: Residential heating and cooling eat up more fossil fuels than any other sector. A shocking 50 percent slips through poorly insulated windows. Experts guage that the equivalent of 450 million barrels of oil could be saved every year if all windows in the U.S. had effective insulating shades.