When designing your home to be more energy efficient, blinds and windows are something that is commonly overlooked. Most people tend to stick with the windows chosen by their builder instead of seeing what else is out there. When it comes to blinds generally the first thing that comes to mind is blocking out light rather than temperature. Blinds can add a truly unique look to a room while also guarding your privacy against prying eyes, but did you realise that a good set of blinds can save you a decent amount when it comes to your power bill as well?
The right blinds and windows can help keep out both the bitter winter cold and the high summer temperatures helping you keep your energy costs low all year round. Uncovered windows are responsible for up to 50% of unwanted heat in summer and 40% of heat loss in winter. The right blinds or curtains create a trapped layer of air between the window and fabric, generating an insulating air pocket, this allows you to have greater control over the interior temperature of your home and a significant saving on power bills.
There is a vast variety of blind and window options available to leave you with a stylish home that is also energy efficient. Here are some of our favourites.
Plements are a practical choice as they have a physical block or seal at the top of the curtains preventing and slowing convection currents establishing in the room. Convection currents can strip a room of its heat, adding significantly to the heating cost. Plements slow the drawing of the warmest air behind the curtain.
Honeycomb blinds or cellular shades are innovative, beautiful and energy efficient. Honeycomb blinds have a unique honeycomb shape that creates pockets of energy-saving insulation, and this helps prevent heat energy from entering or leaving your home through windows, improving energy efficiency and reducing both heating and cooling costs.
There is one primary reason to go custom made rather than pre-made, and that's window dimensions. If you don't have standard window sizes, it will be near impossible to find blinds that match. Matching blinds are an essential feature when it comes to energy efficiency because if coverings aren't snug to your window, you will lose a lot of the insulation benefits.
Awning and outdoor blinds can regulate the amount of solar energy that reaches the facade of your home, especially the parts of it that are glass. An external shade can block out up to 80 per cent of the direct heat on a window, leading to an immediate reduction in heat transfer.
Double glazed windows may be a more expensive option than single glazed windows, but they offer many benefits. They are efficient in both colder climates and when you're using your air conditioner. Some additional benefits to double glazing are noise control, interior furniture fading and heating/cooling cost reduction.
Window film is an effective and more budget-friendly option to double glazing. Window film will vary in quality and properties, but it will roughly cost a quarter of the price of double glazing. Window film is an excellent option for those on a budget or those in temporary accommodation that they are less willing to invest in.
There are many different window insulation options out there, but ultimately it will depend on your property, budget and taste. Always consider the best way to keep you and your family comfortable within the budget you can afford.