In 1985, Hunter Douglas pioneered the window fashions industry by inventing the first cellular honeycomb shades — one of the most energy-efficient window coverings on the market. Now, over 30 years later, Hunter Douglas has continued to pave the way as an industry leader by becoming the first manufacturer to earn a national energy performance rating and certification for interior window covering products through the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC).
By using the AERC energy ratings for an apples-to-apples comparison of window attachments, consumers can select just the right window treatments for their desired level of comfort and energy savings. Our energy-efficient window treatments (also referred to as window attachments) allow for temperature and light control as well as enhanced privacy, UV protection and glare reduction. All while saving energy.
AERC is an independent, third-party verified, nonprofit organization partially funded and fully supported by the U.S. Department of Energy with additional support from the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA). Made up of a diverse set of stakeholders, including manufacturers, government bodies, testing labs and utilities, the AERC team works together to deliver a successful national energy performance rating program for window attachments.
AERC’s mission is to rate, label and certify window attachments in order to help homeowners, architects and builders make informed decisions when it comes to buying energy-efficient products. Using a sophisticated process of material testing and window modeling, AERC gauges the degree to which a window attachment will improve the performance of that window in reducing heating and cooling usage.
Currently, select Duette® and Applause® Honeycomb Shades are certified in the AERC cellular shade category, and Sonnette™ Cellular Roller Shades are certified in the roller shade category. Other product lines are being considered for certification. Additionally, AERC is working on an Automation rating based on a schedule to open and close shades for greater energy savings.
It is important to know how window treatments play a crucial role in providing energy efficiency and comfort in a home. It is also necessary to look at all four ways AERC measures energy efficiency for our products — U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Cool Climate rating and Warm Climate rating. U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) are based on the fabric and shade properties. Cool Climate rating and Warm Climate rating are based on a behavioral study of how homeowners, on average, open and close their shades.
• U-factor: Measures the rate of heat transfer into or out of a home. 0.30 or lower is better.
• SHGC: Measures how well a product blocks heat caused by sunlight. 0.30 or lower is better.
• Cool Climate rating: Rates how well the product performs in a cool climate based on how a homeowner on average moves their shades. A higher rating number is better.
• Warm Climate rating: Rates how well the product performs in a warm climate based on how a homeowner on average moves their shades. A higher rating number is better.
To learn more, including detailed information about the U-factor and SHGC, visit the AERC website.
In a cool climate (or winter), AERC rated and certified window treatments can:
• Help keep interiors warmer
• Reduce heat from escaping
• Use free sunlight to warm spaces
• Eliminate chilly drafts
• Lower heating energy costs
In a warm climate (or summer), AERC rated and certified window treatments can:
• Help keep interiors cooler
• Block solar heat gain
• Minimize harsh sunlight and glare
• Reduce hot outside air from entering
• Lower cooling energy costs
In a mixed climate, AERC rated and certified window treatments can provide the benefits of both cool and warm climates.
To learn more about the energy efficiency of Hunter Douglas Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shades, read these reports from the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL):
Now, with AERC’s first-ever third-party verified national standard program for the energy performance of window attachments, it’s easier for utility companies to rebate window treatments. Want to know if your local utility company offers a rebate on energy efficient window coverings? Visit our Utility Rebates page for a list. Check back regularly as more utilities add window treatments to their rebate programs.
For more information about AERC, visit the AERC website at aercenergyrating.org.
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* Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy article: https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/articles/hunter-douglas-receives-first-ever-energy-performance-rating-window