Proper use of shades or other types of window coverings can greatly reduce your energy consumption. On hot, summer days, simply drawing the shades reduces heat coming in through windows. The result: your home stays cooler, so your air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard, saving both energy and money. In winter, keeping the shades or blinds open during the day allows in heat from the sun, which means your furnace or heater needs to generate less heat.