To keep our homes sunny, bright, and beautiful, we often desire multiple, large, wide windows and glass doors. Windows allow you to enjoy attractive views that your home may overlook. They add an aesthetic appeal and increase the value of your home.
Sunshine and natural light are important but too much of it can overheat your house. In addition, windows are extremely poor insulators and to protect yourself, you should invest in energy-efficient window blinds.
Windows allow us to view the beauty of the world outside enabling us to embrace our surroundings. However, when your windows are bare, it poses a lot of challenges. These challenges include:
- Exposure to extreme sunlight and natural light, which heats your home and causes harsh sun glare to irritate your eyes, making it hard to work and sleep
- Exposure to direct harmful UV rays from the sun damages health and furniture
- Your home’s interior is exposed to outsiders creating a security and privacy threat to your home and family members
Windows are very poor insulators meaning they allow heat to be lost during winter seasons. You may warm up your home using heaters but the warmth can easily escape through the windows. This overworks your heaters leading to high energy consumptions and hence increased energy bills.
Similarly, during summer, the air in your home gets warmed through the window and therefore overworks the air conditioner. Energy-efficient blinds can help you overcome these insulating issues as well as help in other ways.
Energy-Efficient Window Blinds
It is important to maintain the temperature of your home at all times irrespective of the weather condition. To ensure heaters and air conditioners are operating at the highest efficiency, insulate your windows. Shades and blinds add an extra layer of insulation to your windows and protect your home by:
- Preventing heat gain during summer
- Preventing heat loss during winter
- Increasing the window’s R-value
When you invest in energy-efficient blinds, there are some important features you need to take into consideration.
1. Blackout Technology
Blackout material or fabric allows you to control the amount of natural light that enters your house. Blackout blinds block light completely, thus preventing heat gain.
2. Unique Insulating Design
Shades and blinds should be designed in a way that:
- Provides insulation
- Traps air
- Keep the temperature inside the room controlled
3. Ability to Keep Radiant Heat Out
As mentioned, during the summer season, radiant heat from the sun enters your house through the windows and heats the living space. Your air conditioner is overworked and lots of energy is lost.
To keep this radiant heat away from your home, you can use external solar shades. They can be mounted on the exterior of your home where they reflect solar heat back before it hits the window. You can also use interior shades with a reflective back surface to greatly reduce heat gain.
4. Smart Automation
Automated window shades and blinds allow you to program the blinds to be raised and lowered at specific times of the day. This feature allows you to keep your home climate comfortable even when you are miles away.
Tips for Saving Energy at the Window
- During warm days, close the window blinds to keep the heat out
- The windows and doors should be properly weather-stripped
- Ensure the windows are locked whenever you heat or cool the room
- Ensure the storm and basement windows are well caulked
Most Common Energy-Efficient Window Blinds
There are many types and styles of energy-efficient window blinds that you can install in your home. The following are the most commonly used, and you’re sure to find something that will fit both your needs and home decor taste.
1. Insulated Cellular Shades
Insulated cellular shades boost thermal comfort by raising the room’s temperature. They provide insulation and protect your home from the cold. They offer temperature control, optimal light and are quite affordable. Each honeycomb creates a barrier at your window and provides insulation.
2. Roman Shades
Roman shades are made from beautiful fabrics and have custom folds. They are a good option for light management and can be made using various materials. You should use heavy cloth fabric if you are aiming for the following:
- Better thermal performance
- Blocking sunlight
Draperies, or drapes, are a more common form of window treatment, and are not all considered energy efficient. The color and fabric type determine their effectiveness to reduce heat loss or gain.
4. Roller Shades
Roller shades are a solid insulating option available in blackout and light filtering options for light management.
Blinds are another common option. Heat gain is reduced during summer as blinds block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-colored ceiling. The ceiling diffuses light without much glare and heat while allowing you to enjoy natural daylight.
Windows play a major role in protecting your home from direct sunlight, harmful UV rays, as well as security and privacy threats. Using energy-efficient window blinds will help to prevent heat loss during winter, heat gain in summer, and increase the R-value of your windows. This is important to ensure less energy consumption and hence lower energy bills.
When buying blinds for your home, consider features like smart automation, blackout technology, unique insulating design, and the ability to keep radiant heat out. This article highlights some of the tips for saving energy at the window. Blinds, insulated cellular shades, Roman shades, roller shades, and draperies are the most commonly used energy-efficient window treatments.