GET READY FOR THE BIG CHILL

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WINTERIZING TIPS FROM HUNTER DOUGLAS
Farmers’ Almanac Predicts a Cold One from Coast to Coast ~

PEARL RIVER, N.Y., Nov.19, 2013 – Winter is on its way and the venerable Farmers’ Almanac says Americans should prepare for a Big Chill from coast to coast. Bitter cold and heavy snow are forecast for the Northeast, wet and chilly weather in the South, “piercing” temperatures in the Midwest and a dry and cold season for the Pacific Northwest. Only California, Nevada and Arizona will enjoy sunny and seasonal temperatures. And while we can take comfort in the fact that the Almanac – and most other weather predictions – can miss the mark, preparing our homes for the season is just as important now as it was in 1818 when the Farmers’ Almanac first started predicting Jack Frost’s arrival.
Today, Americans have an array of options to help us fight the cold, control heating costs, utilize alternative forms of energy and conserve our resources. Hunter Douglas, the leading window fashions manufacturer, launched Duette shades, the world’s first honeycomb shade, in 1985. The unique honeycomb construction traps air inside the cells to keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. Duette® Architella® shades, introduced in 2006, elevated this innovative design to new levels of energy efficiency with its patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction. A properly installed Duette Architella shade can reduce heat lost through windows by up to 40 percent, and help reduce heating costs. This year a product that is 20 percent more energy-efficient was introduced – Duette Architella Trielle™ honeycomb shades – featuring yet another inner cell for a total of five pockets to trap even more air. All of these award-winning, energy-saving window fashions are designed, developed and custom-crafted in the United States.
Take these tips from Donna Lobosco, Hunter Douglas Director of Brand Communications, and enjoy a safe, comfortable winter.
· Wrap It Up, Especially at the Window – Proper insulation is essential to keeping the cold at bay. Insulate the attic, wrap pipes and, if necessary, your water heater. Don’t neglect a major source of heat and energy loss – your windows. They can account for up to 25 percent of utility bills by leaking heat in the winter and cool air in summer. Highly insulating Duette® Architella® honeycomb shadescombine function and fashion, insulating against heat loss while adding a handsome design element to any room.

New Duette Architella Trielle shades can reduce heat transfer by up to 45 percent, thanks to an additional cell within a honeycomb cell, creating six fabric layers and five separate air pockets for insulation.

Also new to the market are Solera™ Soft Shades made of soft pleats that gently filter the light while providing increased insulation with their cellular construction.

· Dodge the Draft – Drafts are the demons of energy conservation, consuming up to 30 percent of a home’s energy. Hunter Douglas window fashions help block window drafts and keep warm air in. Plugging other air leaks throughout the home is easy. Use stripping, plastic film and caulking to stop leaks from windows. Plug up holes in attics and basements and keep the cold from coming in under the door with readily available door snakes. Remove or cover window air conditioners and keep the fireplace damper closed when not in use. And, keep drafts away from your thermostat – they can affect the temperature reading.

· Fan Out – Ceiling fans aren’t just for cooling. Set your fan to run in reverse in cold weather. It will circulate warm air throughout the house. And, keep those blades clean for more efficient use.

· Don’t Block It Out – Be sure rugs and furniture are not blocking heat from floor registers, baseboard or radiators.

· Tune Up – Have your furnace checked by a professional and tuned up for maximum efficiency. Many companies offer pre-winter specials on this service. Change the filter monthly or invest in a permanent filter for the furnace. You’ll save money and energy in the long run.

· Take It Slow – Turning the thermostat to a high temperature is not the best way to quickly heat your home on a cold day. In fact, it takes the same amount of time for the temperature to reach 70 degrees F whether the thermostat is set at 70 or 90 degrees.

· There’s An App for That – Hunter Douglas recently introduced the Platinum™ App – the perfect complement to Duette Architella shades and the full array of Hunter Douglas product offerings. It allows you to move your window treatments to desired positions from an Apple mobile device and do it by shade, room, time of day or even activity or “scene”. For example, you can set it to raise them when the sun is strongest in the winter to let in the solar heat and help warm your home.

Download is free and set up is easy with the purchase of a Platinum Bridge that connects to the Internet router and Repeaters that extend the signal. The Platinum App was named Product of the Year by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, the gold standard for industry excellence.

· Lighten Up – Many Hunter Douglas styles maximize the daylight streaming through your windows, even on dark winter days. Let the daylight in with Duette Architella shades that operate from the top-down. Or, consider Hunter Douglas products like Silhouette® window shadings and Luminette Privacy Sheers that diffuse light while drawing it deeper into a room to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

· Talk to the Tax Man – The New Year brings wintry weather and a reminder from the IRS that tax time cannot be far behind. Before 2013 is out, consider purchasing energy-saving products that qualify for the Federal Energy Tax Credit. These include appliances, solar panels and Hunter Douglas Duette Architella shades, the only window shades without add-on insulation systems to have earned this distinction. Learn more at www.hunterdouglas.com/taxcredit.

“From fall’s first frost to winter’s last blast, planning and preparation are key to dealing with wintry weather,” said Donna Lobosco. Basic steps such as plugging leaks, monitoring your thermostat, covering your windows and servicing the furnace go a long way in conserving energy. For cost savings and potential tax benefits, purchase energy-efficient appliances and insulate windows with Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades. “The weather outside may be less than ideal,” concluded Lobosco. “But inside a Hunter Douglas home, all is light, bright and more energy efficient.”

Hunter Douglas

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Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.