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For The Home

Eco-Friendly Shades

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: March, 2012, Page 56


Sheer Genius


Windows take on a barely there, sophisticated look with Phifer’s SheerWeave Performance + interior sun-control fabric shades.

Allowing daylight to filter in, the eco-chic product helps control year-round solar heat gain, keeping rooms cooler in summer—thus reducing air-conditioning costs—and warmer in winter months by holding in the heat.

The interior sun-control fabric has received Greenguard certification and is infused with Microban antimicrobial protection.

Shown in the Beige colorway, SheerWeave comes in nine other neutral hues and is available through Blind Ideas in Phoenix, (602) 595-8930.

ENERGYSAVERS.GOV
When installed properly, window shades are an easy way to save energy. A shade should be mounted very close to the window, with its sides next to the wall to seal air spaces, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The agency also recommends Sun Belt residents look into low-E windows, which can cut the cooling load 10-15 percent. Visit energysavers.gov for more ideas.

What the Pros Know
Q - What are some easy design changes one can do to an existing home to make it more eco-friendly as well as attractive?

A - In today’s marketplace, the consumer is able to pick from an abundance of green products, including countertops made of recycled glass or even durable paper, notes interior designer Cindy Lewton, president elect of the Arizona North Chapter of ASID. So, making your home look better while also reducing your carbon footprint is definitely achievable, she acknowledges. Among quick fixes:

Paint walls: Paint companies have created products that are green, wear well and have multiple color options, including “strong blues, reds and greens,” Lewton indicates. “All the major paint companies have paints with zero VOCs.” The EPA has long reported that VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, release chemicals that can contribute to health problems.

Change flooring: If you want to purchase green flooring, Lewton suggests buying locally or American-made goods, since buying from overseas sources uses energy in long-distance transportation. Bamboo flooring is an example, she notes. While bamboo itself is a sustainable plant, it is grown mainly in managed plantations in China, according to some major bamboo flooring manufacturers. “There are a lot of alternative sources, such as recycled hardwood flooring or carpet milled from recycled plastic, and the old linoleum floors have come back,” Lewton points out. All are “totally green and available in this country.”

Add energy-efficient window coverings and shades: The designer advises working with a local firm when investing in such products, to make certain that they will perform well and hold up in Arizona’s hot, sunny climate.

Lewton says one can learn of local companies that partner with ASID and provide eco-friendly goods and services by visiting asidaznorth.org. For information about area ASID designers, call (602) 569-8916.
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