October 01, 2007 by Steven Castle
Shades or drapes can close when it’s sunny in the summer to keep a house cooler, or open to warm a space in the winter. You can operate them by pressing a button on a controller or connect them to solar or temperature sensors so they’ll open or close when the sun hits it or it becomes too hot. Of course, you can also open and shut shades manually, but these systems save you from remembering to do that, or even being there.
You’ll probably pay a few hundred bucks and up for motorized window treatments in each window, but if you use them right you can save money on your energy bills. Nearly any kind of window treatment can be motorized as well, from drapes to shades to wooden shutters. Some of the companies that do motorized window treatments include Am-Source International, BTX Window Automation, Lutron, MechoShade, Somfy, Solar Shading Systems, and I’m probably forgetting some.
For a primer on motorized window treatments, also check out an article I wrote way back when on this. These are really cool systems, and are gaining popularity today for the energy they can save.
I’ll be posting more about window shading and some of the interesting things going on next week.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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