We decorate, and think in terms of beauty and functionality and of course price. But what about hidden costs like safety and energy efficiency? With families and with a family budget, they’re both important items. You may be astounded to learn that according to the Window Covering Safety Council, since 1991 more than 160 deaths of children involving window treatment cords have been reported.

Each year in October, stores promote child-safe products as part of National Window Covering Safety Month, but year-round, government and industry officials encourage parents to repair or replace their older corded window treatments with today’s safer products.

What makes these new products different? They’re cordless, using spring-loaded mechanism or battery, motor lift or wand controls to open and close the window treatments.

You don’t need to worry about kids or pets, for that matter – to want to eliminate window treatment cords. Maybe you just don’t like the way they look. Ask about cordless window fashions that are designed not to obscure the beauty of your windows.

Have window treatments with cords? Check out the Window Covering Safety Council’s website at www.windowcoverings.org for kits to repair cords and change your old window treatments.

Here’s another thing shocking fact. Did you know that 37% of all heat inside a home escapes through uncovered windows. Many new window coverings provide a thermal protection to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, and some are actually R-rated for efficiency. You may know the basics like checking your windows for holes and cracks, weather stripping around windows and frames and installing storm windows.

At night, keep window treatments closed to help retain heat in the house. During the day, open the window treatments, to take advantage of the sun’s heating system.

Keep windows clean, especially those on the southern exposure, for maximum solar gain throughout the day. Manufacturers say that window treatments utilizing around windows by up to five times better than that of single pane window alone.

Using window treatments can help your home maintain a constant temperature for longer periods of time, placing less stress on your heating and air-conditioning units and promoting fuel and electricity conservation.