If you hate old-fashioned, frilly, curtains, there’s hope for you. You’re not the only one who hates the idea of going to the department store or – worse – a designer store – and picking out your drapes. Durable and low-maintenance window blinds are an excellent alternative, and they don’t have to scream “bachelor pad” either.
You can get smart-looking blinds that save money on energy, along with a color that fits with the style of your home. Best of all, it won’t break the bank.
You probably never thought that window blinds could look cool and save you money on your heating and cooling costs, did you? Cellular blinds are like a strange sort of sci-fi fantasy invention. Most people replace their windows when they want to boost efficiency. However, replacing windows is pretty expensive.
When you use cellular blinds, you create an air space between the room and the window. That air acts as an insulator, and dramatically boosts the efficiency of your window. How much? Well, a double-paned window has a thermal resistance value (R-Value) of about 2. Cellular blinds increase that by about 3 – that’s a 150 percent increase in energy efficiency.
The secret behind cellular blinds is in its construction and design. Typically, these shades are of a honeycomb design which is what creates the air pocket necessary to increase energy efficiency. Standard wood or vinyl just doesn’t cut it when it comes to construction. These blinds have to be made of polyester so that pleats are crisp and the blinds hold their shape over time.
As light hits the window from the outside, the UV radiation begins to heat the surface of the glass. This heat is transmitted through the window pane and into the air space between the two panes of glass in your glass pack (if you have double-paned windows).
Then, it hits the back of the shade. While some heat will be stopped here, much of it will pass through the polyester and get trapped in the air pockets in the honeycomb design of the blinds. This is where most of the heat will stay while some of it will continue to pass through to the room. The result is that you home stays cooler in the summertime.
However, the reverse is true in the winter, too. Instead of heat passing easily through your glass, it gets trapped by the same honeycomb design that prevents solar gain in the summer – saving you money on heating costs.
Most manufacturers that make cellular blinds make them in a variety of different colors. This makes it pretty easy for you to match up the color of the blinds to the color and theme of your room. While all of the blinds will look the same in terms of styling, there’s a benefit to this. It ties all of your rooms together and makes you look like an interior designer – even if you’ve no desire to be.
More and more manufacturers are turning to custom blinds and shades which give you even more ability to get the look you want. When you’re finished, your rooms will have a polished look and you’ll have saved yourself the agony of someone explaining to you what a valance is and why you “need” one.
About the Author
Josh Stephenson is an interior designer. His articles mainly appear on design blogs where he enjoys sharing his ideas.