No one wants to live in a windowless fortress, but the fact is that windows account for up to 50 percent of heat loss in the average home. Replacing your old windows with double-glazed windows
is one way to help keep the cold out, but it is an expensive option. A very effective and economical way to insulate your windows is with insulating blinds. Which blinds are better for warmth? You may be surprised by how many options your local blinds supplier
will have for you.
Types of Insulation
There are two basic types of insulation:
- Reflective insulation is backed with a heat and cold reflecting material.
- Bulk insulation uses a bulky material that traps "dead air" inside and keeps hot and cold air from entering or leaving an enclosure.
Most building insulation products are made from a combination of both reflective material (usually aluminium) and a thick layer of bulky, loose material, such as foam or glass wool. While you probably don't want to make curtains out of building insulation, the theory remains the same: when choosing blinds for warmth, they should either have a reflective backing, be made from a thick material with air pockets inside or both.
Which Blinds for Warmth?
Honeycomb (also called cellular) blinds are specifically made for insulation against heat and cold. As the name implies, they are made from a "honeycomb" air pocketed material. There are several different types of honeycomb blinds:
- Single cell blinds provide good protection from cold.
- Dual cell blinds offer superior insulation, but generally cost significantly more.
- Blockout (or blackout) blinds block all light from entering the home and also provide better insulation.
- Light filtering blinds allow filtered light to enter the room. Although this may not actually warm the room, it can give it a warmer feeling ambiance.
Honeycomb blinds have become very popular in recent years, thanks in part to increasing environmental awareness and in part to the ever-increasing numbers of styles and colours that have become available.
If you can't find honeycomb blinds you like or prefer a more traditional style, you still have several options to choose from:
- Reflective blind styles include standard roller blinds, Roman blinds and many other classic and contemporary styles.
- Timber has natural insulating qualities. Cedar is the most popular choice and, being light and porous, provides very good insulation. In order to prevent warmth from escaping, the louvres must be fully closed.
- For superior insulation, combine blinds with heavy fabric curtains.
With all the blinds for warmth you have to choose from, there's really no reason to settle for anything less. Usually, they cost little more than ordinary blinds and your energy savings will quickly make up for any extra initial costs. When shopping for indoor blinds
, ask the dealer what the "R-value" of the blinds is. R-value is the ratings system used for insulation products: the higher this value is, the better for warmth your blinds will be.