“Should my horizontal blinds direct the light up to the ceiling or down to the floor?”
This might seem like an insignificant question, but based on a little research, this household argument ranks with, “toilet seat up or down” and “toilet paper roll top or bottom.” The good news is that this dispute can be settled with simple facts.
It is a fact that directing your blinds so the light reflects to your ceiling will result in less heating and could lower your utility bill in the summer. In addition, blinds arranged in this direction reduces the ability to see into your home which adds to privacy and security. Of course, in the winter time, you might want to utilize the heating from the sun and reverse your blinds, so the sun can heat your floors, but your privacy will be reduced.
Another tip for reducing heat transfer is to position your blinds as close to your window as possible and to use a highly reflective material and/or color.
If your spouse prefers it one way and you the other, maybe you can agree to turn them up only when the temperature is over 90º or alternate every other day or week. In the end, it truly comes down to your personal preference. If your spouse is in need of light to help battle depression it might be cheaper to pay a little extra on the cooling bill versus counseling or medication. Or, maybe it would be best to “turn a blind eye” and pick a different battle.
Other quick tips to reduce summer utilities:
- Awnings to shade your home
- Trees to shade your home
- Reflective film for windows
- Install energy efficient windows
- Clean A/C filters
- Clean A/C unit
- Set your A/C up 2-4 degree higher when away – programmable thermostat is best.
- Have your unit checked by a quality insured home professional.
Be sure to check out our other tips in our weekly blog.
The first thing you do when you walk into a room is “turn on the light,” yet only about 1 percent of the cost of average construction goes into lighting. It is best to spend time discussing lighting thoroughly with your builder or lighting designer when building a new home or renovating. It will be well worth your efforts.
As a homeowner you need to ask yourself a series of questions before you meet with a professional.
- What would you like highlighted in your room? Is there some aspect of your room, such as a mantel or architectural design that you want to be the focus?
- What do you want to be de–emphasized? Is there something that you would prefer not to be seen?
- What types of lights do you like? Is there a particular style of lighting that always grabs your attention?
- What kind of lighting do you not like? Do your best to keep you mind open to options, but if there is something you really do not like, let your professional know immediately.
When renovating, the age of your home will play a big factor in how to approach additional lighting. In some cases, when adding a lot of new lighting, it is easier to replace the entire ceiling. For newer homes with existing recessed lighting, your lighting improvements will likely require minimal planning. It could be as simple as switching out the type of fixture for more flexibility in light distribution.
- Make use of dimmers. This will save energy/money. Dimming down just 10 percent can double the life of your bulb. In addition, dimming 25 percent or more can change the mood of your room dramatically.
- Integrated lighting is the trend. This is where the source can be concealed (recessed, under cabinet etc).
- LED appears to be the way of the future as they have found a way to replicate the look of incandescent lights with significantly more energy efficiency. This can positively impact your pocketbook in the long term.
- When on a limited budget, lighting is probably the best thing you can do to for home improvement. Even though your budget might be limited, consult the professionals.
See several lighting examples in Millstone Custom Homes’ portfolio, send us a message or give us a call to discuss anything about your home or future home.
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