Windows let in natural light, allow ventilation and mean we can take in views from outside, but windows also need dressing to help create privacy, reduce glare, enhance the look and feel of the space and most importantly, insulate your home.The move towards open plan houses and indoor/outdoor living means that many new homes are full of windows, sliding doors and bifold doors. Although these features look good and are functional, they’re not ideal when it comes to keeping your home warm or cool.Did you know that windows account for most of the heat lost from homes? This is why window coverings are essential for helping you keep your home at a comfortable temperature.So, what should you choose?Blinds - blinds have been a popular choice with homeowners for many years. They are great for preventing heat transfer through windows, just ensure they are installed so the edges are flush with the wall, so no heat can escape.Shutters - Plantation shutters are a stylish choice, they look great and control light and ventilation. Make sure the shutters are fitted tightly inside the window frame as any gaps will allow heat in during summer and out during winter. Shutters and curtains can be used together to provide even better cover and protection.Curtains - curtains are ideal for regulating the temperature in your home, as just like blinds, they trap a layer of air between the window and fabric. However, unlike shutters and blinds, curtains come in a huge variety of prints and textures. Blockout curtains are the most common choice and are made from a fabric that is coated with an acrylic backing. If you are on a budget, then curtains are your best option.While window coverings can do most of the job, they work best when we keep on top of the weather and plan accordingly. If the day ahead is going to be warm, keep your windows and window coverings closed throughout the day and then throw them open and let in the cool evening air at the end of the day.During the colder months, sunlight helps to warm your home, but don’t forget to shut everything as soon as the sun disappears. This will keep the heat in and save you needing to use the heater.It’s also worth considering how external blinds and shutters can add to the effectiveness of your insulation. Outdoor blinds or awnings stop cold air and sunlight from hitting glass, thus reducing the impact of heat or chill on the internal room. A major advantage of external blinds and awnings is that they can be retracted in nice weather conditions and then easily extended when wind, rain or light are an issue.Alfresco blinds are great for enclosing outdoor areas and allow you to use your outdoor spaces all year round, no matter what the weather is.For a comprehensive look at stylish and functional window coverings to suit any home, visit one of the many Ben Trager display homes, there’s sure to be one near you.