Expert Q & A: An Energy Efficient Home

Rather than thinking of your home as an energy drain, by choosing the right furnishings and following some good advice, you can save a little energy and some cash too. Here, Donna Lobosco, Hunter Douglas Director of Brand Communications, offers up her top tips.

LIP: Hunter Douglas is known for its window coverings. Can choosing the right ones help with energy costs?
DL: Investing in the right window fashions can make such a difference on how energy efficient your home’s windows are, which is great not just for the environment but also, your wallet. For example, since our line of Duette Architella honeycomb shades is highly-insulating, they more than double the efficiency of a window, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In fact, they are the first and only window shades to qualify for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 tax credit.

LIP: Can you explain what that means?
DL: Hunter Douglas is an Energy Star Partner and when purchasing most shades in this particular line, consumers can receive a federal tax credit for 30 percent of the cost, up to a maximum of $1,500. As long as they purchase and install by the end of this year, they will qualify for that credit. Just be sure your purchase meets the tax guidelines.

LIP: How about when you do need to turn on the air conditioner? Any tips?
DL: If you can, try and use a ceiling fan first—it helps lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption. Also, in warmer months, a popular notion is that the lower we set our thermostats when turning on the air conditioner, the faster our home will cool down. However, that’s not the case. According to the Department of Energy, it could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, an unnecessary expense.

LIP: Any other helpful tips that we can use this summer?
DL: Never place lamps or TV sets near your thermostat—it can sense heat from these items and cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Also, by keeping your air conditioner and heating filters clean and replacing fiberglass filters with reusable, washable ones, you’ll prolong the life of your appliance.

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.