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Window Treatments

Saving Energy with Window Treatments

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Energy efficient windows are growing in popularity every year. However, not everyone realizes that your window treatments also have a profound effect on your home’s energy efficiency. 20% of your air dissipation, whether heated or cooled, happens through your windows. It’s imperative to have the right window treatments if you want to decrease this number.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are the most practical and efficient window coverings you can buy when it comes to saving energy. They use cell pockets to trap air around your windows, which regulates temperature. The cells use a honeycomb shape, which lends the nickname “honeycomb shades.” They come in a wide variety of colors, insulating capabilities, pleat sizes and cell layers. They can also be inside or outside mounted.

Drapes

Drapes are a timeless window feature that can match any decor. They come in thousands of different fabrics, colors, and patterns.

Because they provide more window coverage, they are one of the more efficient window treatments. For additional energy savings you can add a thermal lining on the backside of your drapes. These are usually white, giving your windows a smooth exterior curb appeal.

Shutters

Shutters trap unwanted air between the glass of the window and the covering. This can insulate the room. Plantation shutters have the tightest fit and use the thickest material.

Exterior Shades

Exterior shades prevent harsh sunlight from entering your home, reducing your air conditioning usage and electric bills.

If you have any other questions about energy-efficient window treatments reach out to Naffco today!

How to Clean Shutters

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Items you’ll need:

Hose

Brush

Mop

Microfiber mop

Warm water

Mild household detergent

All-purpose outdoor detergent

Hose-end sprayer

 

If you live in a single-story house, cleaning shutters is a chore, but it’s not that difficult. The brush and mops should have long handles, or you can simply use an extension pole. Here are some step-by-step instructions for cleaning your shutters:

  1. Use the brush to get all loose dirt and debris off the shutters. Sweep up the debris from the ground underneath the window before you spray them in order to avoid a water-logged mess.
  2. Rinse your shutters thoroughly using a garden hose. This will get the rest of the loose debris and dirt the brush missed.
  3. Mix your detergent and warm water. Dip the mop in and rub the entire surface area of each shutter thoroughly. Don’t let the cleaning solution dry! Be sure to hose the shutters down at each window to rinse it off before moving to the next.
  4. Use a microfiber mop to wipe the shutters to dry them and eliminate any marks that may want to linger.

If you live in a multi-story house, this process becomes a bit more difficult, but don’t worry, you can do it!

  1. First, fill a hose-end sprayer attachment with all-purpose
  2. Test the detergent on a small section of shutter first to make sure it cleans it without damaging. Do this on a downstairs shutter so you can get close and inspect the result.
  3. Once you have determined your all purpose detergent works, spray each shutter with water first, before turning the control to release the detergent. Cover each shutter with a layer of suds and let set for about 15 seconds. Rinse them off and let them air dry.

If you have any shutter-related questions, give Naffco a call at(813) 254-4066 or stop into one of our 3 locations!

 

How to Clean Blinds

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Blinds collect dust and grime over time. If you don’t keep up with routine maintenance, you can permanently damage or discolor your blinds. Whether you have wood, fabric or vertical blinds, these basic tips will help keep them clean and make them last longer.

Vacuum

Using the brush attachment, vacuum your blinds often, at least once a week. Be sure to vacuum one at a time, and get the top and bottom or front and back.

Lamb’s wool duster

A lamb’s-wool duster is soft enough to clean your blinds without damaging them. Don’t use plastic dusters as they may scratch or scrape your blinds.

Vertical blinds

When vacuuming or dusting vertical blinds be sure to use downward motions only. If you go upward you could unhook the slats.

Dry sponge

Use a rubber sponge to get residue that won’t come off with a duster. A firm, consistent stroke should get most other residue.

Spot cleaning

If you need to spot clean your blinds, use an all-purpose cleaner. Spray it on a dry cloth and use the cloth to wipe away the spot. Never spray the cleaner directly on the blinds.

Fabric Blinds

Fabric blinds can be taken to a dry cleaner if they get excessively dirty.

Metal and vinyl blinds

For metal and vinyl blinds use a bucket of water with a few drops of dish soap in it. Use a soft sponge to clean and rinse, then be sure to wipe dry.

 

If you have any questions about how to clean your blinds reach out to one of our friendly staff members at Naffco today!

 

All About Vertical Blinds

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Vertical blinds come in vast number of varieties. The vanes come in a variety of widths, from 3.5 to 300+ inches. They are made from fabric, vinyl, aluminum or wood. They can be cut to specific heights to match your windows and come in a variety of shapes as well.

Traditional horizontal blinds track up and down, while vertical blinds track horizontally. Typically a covering called a valance goes across the top of them to hide the tracking mechanism. Many different types of mechanisms can be installed including wanded, corded, or wireless remote.

They can be mounted inside or outside the window frame, making them simple to install. Often they are strung together via a small chain or cord through the bottom of the slats to keep them from swinging and parting.

Vertical blinds are typically paired with contemporary, modern, or transitional decor. Their length is  great for adding visual height to a room, and are very useful to control light and privacy in hard-to-fit windows and sliding glass doors. They let in more light than draperies, which many people see as a great bonus.

Vertical blinds are also easy to clean. They collect less dust because they hang vertically. When it is time to clean, close the shades so that you can see each individual slat. Your vacuum should have a hose with a brush attachment to remove dust. This is the quickest and easiest way. For dirtier slats, you can dust them using a tiny bit of soap and vinegar. Be sure to turn the blinds around to get both sides, and don’t forget to vacuum the track, as it accumulates dust and grime over time.

Vertical blinds can also be repaired, however it is more difficult than most other types of window treatments. This is due to the sophisticated track and swiveling components.

If you have any questions about vertical blinds, or are looking to add them to your home, feel free to reach out to Naffco today! Call us at 813-254-4066 and one of our friendly staff members would be glad to help!

Window Treatments by Room

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Choosing the best window treatments in your house improves the look and feel of every room. It can increase your quality of life, as without them, your space will look incomplete. Here are some suggestions for beautiful window treatments to make every room feel comfortable.

Living Room

It’s important to consider your lifestyle when choosing window treatments. Will you be using your living room to read, watch TV or entertain guests? Consider what you’ll be spending the majority of your time doing, and choose a window treatment to match.

Wood Blinds are a popular choice when it comes to living rooms because they match nearly any decor. They can be raised, lowered and adjusted to let in as much or as little sunlight as you like. They come in a number of finishes and slat sizes and are very customizable.

A Drapery and Valence combination can be a stunning addition to your living room. Valences can add a touch of elegance to a dreary drape or curtain set.

Kitchen

Shutters are an iconic staple of many kitchen designs. They are completely cordless, easy to clean, and give an upscale look, making them one of the best kitchen options in terms of style and functionality.

Roman Shades are becoming more and more popular. If your kitchen is white, or a very light color, a textured or patterned roman shade can really make your windows stand out. They work great in modern/farmhouse style kitchens.

Bedroom

Floor to Ceiling Pleated Curtains provide an elegant way to provide privacy, while being easy to pull aside and let natural light in. They can make your windows the focal point or provide a nice compliment to your bed.

Tie Backs are a timeless option. Wake up in the morning and pull aside your curtains to let the morning light in, and let them go in the evening to block out the setting sun or provide privacy.

Bathroom

Painted Windows provide a minimalist, yet finished look in the bathrooms. Zero maintenance is always a perk. These work well with frosted windows to allow light in but give you the privacy you want in the bathroom.

Vinyl Shutters are another great option as they give the classic look of wood but provide all the convenience of vinyl. Easy to clean, they add elegance while giving you minimal upkeep.

If you have any questions about the best window treatments for your home, contact Naffco today.

Window Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning your windows is never a fun prospect, but if you’re able to do a good job, at least the task is worth it. So how do you get the cleanest, most sparkling windows around? Take a look at the following tips:

Outside & Inside

You should have one set of ‘tools’ for outside and one for inside – you’re welcome to use the same bucket of course, but your sponges and scrubbers should be separate. Both sides of the window have to cope with different challenges, and the last thing you want is to smear dirt around unnecessarily. The best tool you can use is a microfiber cloth – just remember to lay a towel down under the window when you’re inside. You don’t want to have a damp floor to deal with after.

Dish Soap

Dish soap still remains one of the cheapest and easiest options for window cleaning. You can buy specially designed products, but the right mix of dish soap can do just as good a job. Add a few drops to cool water and your sponges will glide gracefully. You should always choose an environmentally friendly, biodegradable brand – especially for exterior windows and homes with small children.

Vinegar

After washing with the dish soap solution, use a mix of water and distilled white wine vinegar in a spray bottles to help remove any streaks. Use a clean, lint free towel or newspaper pages to help buff and make your windows shine.

Weather Matters

A cool, cloudy day is the best time to wash the windows, as this will ensure nothing will dry on the panes.

Screens

Screens shouldn’t be neglected, and window cleaning is the ideal opportunity to give them some TLC. Rinse them with water, then using the same vinegar and water solution, soak them thoroughly. They need to dry completely before reinstalling them.

Magic Sponge

Finally if you have some stubborn stains and mineral deposits, use the trusty magic sponge!

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Drapes for your Bathroom

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Bathrooms can be a bit more of challenge than other parts of your home to redecorate. They are well-known to require a larger budget (thanks to the plumbing involved) and to place more strain on materials due to the ongoing humidity. You also need to consider your window treatment carefully – after all you want something that will contend with the water and let in light, as well as providing you with enough privacy. That doesn’t mean that all style needs to go out the window – thankfully drapes come in such a huge range of colors, patterns, and materials, you’ll easily be able to find several options to serve your bathroom.

Privacy

Probably more than any other room, your bathroom window treatment must protect your privacy. Drapes are a great option, as long as they’re done in the right way. People often enjoy a lot of natural light in the bathroom, so half drapes or valances are a popular choice to balance both of these requirements. It also means you can have the drapes ‘drawn’ and don’t have to mess around with opening and closing them every time someone needs to use the bathroom.

Material

With the amount of moisture in the air (especially in a full bathroom) you shouldn’t use any material which is likely to be affected. Consider vinyl drapes (which aren’t susceptible to mold and are very easy to clean), cottons, or blends, depending on your budget and preference.

Patterns and Colors

Many homeowners often feel more comfortable playing with bolder patterns and colors in the bathroom as opposed to the bedroom or living room. Patterns work fabulously on drapes in the bathroom – especially if you don’t opt for full sized. They can be a striking focal point to the room and frame the area beautifully.

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Drapes for your Living Room

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Drapes are the perfect choice for your living room. They not only contribute on an aesthetic level, they make a room immediately cozier. Then there are the more practical aspects; drapes do a great job of blocking out sound, light, cold, and give you and your family the privacy you need.

Functionality

Functionality should always be your main concern – after all you might have the most beautiful, ornate drapes around but if they don’t offer any warmth or let the light in so much you can’t see the television, you’re in trouble. A lot of drapes are designed with various applications in mind, as such you can get blackout material (popular in the bedroom) or heavily lined. Think about where your living room faces, and about how much natural light you want. This can help to inform your decision when faced with so many options.

Color/Patterns

Next you should consider what color and/or print you want. The great thing about drapes is they’re so popular, and so they are countless different shades, hues, and patterns to choose from. Take some samples of materials home and see how they suit the decor. Lighter drapes tend to let more light in, but darker ones can be too demanding of the space visually. When it comes to patterns if you’re not ready for a fully patterned drape, remember you can always layer your drapes with bolder curtains. Neutrals are always a good choice as they can suit many different decors and can be reused in different rooms when you decide to redecorate again.

Material

Lining your drapes will provide you with the functionality you need, but what material should your drapes be? In the living room you might want to keep things light and simple and opt for cotton, or if you’re feeling more luxurious you could also think about silks and velvets.

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Drapes for the Kitchen

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Are you unsure of what window treatment to settle on for your kitchen?? Drapes are a great choice in any room thanks to the huge range of different materials, styles, prints, and prices – and the kitchen is no exception.

When it comes to the kitchen, you have different requirements than in other areas of the home. Generally there is less of a need for privacy, and more of a need for natural light to enter. Then there are the external factors – the purpose of a kitchen is of course to cook in. This means your material will have to contend with the occasional splatter and more moisture and heat in the air.

Style

The great thing about window treatments is their ability to finish off the look of a room. In the kitchen, the last thing you’re probably thinking about when choosing your cabinets and layout is what drapes will match it. Thankfully they come in such a wide variety of styles, it won’t be hard to find something that complements your decor.

A common trend in the kitchen is to opt for shorter drapes than you would in for example, the bedroom or living room. In fact a popular choice to have a valance – which covers just the top of the window – or half length (so as to still keep an element of privacy). This helps let in a lot of natural light to the kitchen, with the drapes being mostly decorative in nature.

Material

In other rooms you can afford to err on the luxurious side with your drapery – but silk or velvet isn’t practical for the kitchen. Instead opt for less fragile, easier to clean materials like cotton or vinyl. You may need to wash these drapes more often than others, so be sure to find out how easy it is to this when reviewing your options.

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Drapes for your Bedroom

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Window treatment is not only a functional but also an aesthetically impactful part of any room’s decor. When it comes to the bedroom, their importance is further heightened, as contribute majorly to your sleep environment.

When it comes to creating the perfect conditions in which to slumber, it really does depend on personal preference and the exterior environment. Some people prefer natural light to assist them in waking up, whereas others need to block out intrusive street lamps in order to get to sleep in the first place. Thankfully there’s a whole range of window treatments to suit any and all sleep types – in fact there’s a huge variety even in terms of just drapes.

Drapes for the Window

Drapes are a traditional choice when it comes to window treatment – but that doesn’t mean they haven’t continued to improve. Drapes now come in a huge range of different styles, materials, colors, and prices – so make sure you consider all your options, as there are plenty. They tend to be heavier than curtains and are often lined, which makes them the perfect choice for the bedroom. By having heavier material you not only block out light, but also sound and cold. It’s worth spending more on high quality drapes if you need them to do the aforementioned.

Header

Drapes come with different headers (the top of the material) which include gathers, pinch pleats,, and more. You might also consider topping your curtains with swags for a romantic touch.

Material

As the bedroom is less visited than other areas of the home and by less people (as well as not having to deal with external factors such as humidity) you can afford to be choosy with your material. Some homeowners like to opt for luxurious materials such as silks and velvets.

Drapes for the Bed

Drapes are not just for the window – you can use your bed frame to create a beautiful focal point in your room by creating a canopy with drapes. The material and style you choose is again dependent on your preference: you could opt for heavy materials in opulent hues for a traditional four poster bed, for a less intense look  have lighter materials (like silk) hung just at the head.

The benefit of having drapes around your bed is not only how they contribute visually, they can also keep your sleeping area warmer.