Installing window treatments that will keep the cold out and the heat in will save you money on heating for your home. There are a variety of window treatments to insulate your home, depending on your budget, preferences and how permanent you want the window treatments to be. Some of these treatments also work in the summer, to keep the heat out.
Storm windows are one of the most common ways to keep the cold out in winter. These windows are made of glass and usually the screen windows are removed when the weather starts to get cold, and the glass storm windows replace the screens. This extra layer of glass, behind the regular glass window, provides an extra layer of protection from the cold.
These blinds contain insulating air pockets that put another layer between the cold seeping in the windows and the room. These can be very effective, but the drawback is that you can't open the blinds partway to let in light the way you can with normal blinds. Honeycomb blinds can only be raised or lowered, not opened like traditional blinds.
Energy Saving Window Shades
These shades work well for either summer or winter. They are double sided, and in winter, the light reflective side faces into the room. This reflects the room's heat away from the window to keep the room warm. During the summer, the light side faces out to deflect hot sunlight away from the room.
Plastic Window Insulation
This type of window treatment is inexpensive and can be reused for several winters in a row. Plastic window insulation kits can be found at many department stores and home supply stores. To apply this treatment to window, first outline windows with the double-sided tape that comes with the kit. Then cut the plastic sheeting to be a bit larger than your windows. Apply the sheeting to the windows, attaching it to the double-sided tape. Use a hairdryer to apply heat to the edge of the plastic, this will heat it and make it shrink. The plastic then forms a tight barrier against cold air coming in.
If you have windows that face South, consider putting awnings on the outside of the windows. These awnings will keep the hot sun out during the summer, while allowing the winter sun in to naturally heat rooms a bit. This is because the winter sun comes in at a lower angle than the summer sun.