We're in the midst of Snowpocalypse 2011! It's been a rough one for me out in the Chicago area...been buried in my house for the past 3 days and driving myself batty. Take a look at the situation outside my door!
Now that the worst is past us, it's time to think about how to keep our houses cold (yes, even if you didn't get as much snow as me, i'm sure you're still cold.) I wrote up a really cool post about insulating your house well with different types of blinds and how to tell which ones to shop around for. I know people don't really think of blinds as a "line of defense" against cold, but they really can go a long way. Check it out and hopefully it opens you up to a few options you may not have thought about!
These accordion style shades are great for not only providing light control, but also keeping the bills down! They come in full ranges of colors, from pastel blue to charcoal black and a myriad of styles as well. The best insulators though, are the Blackout or Double Cell materials. The blackouts, as the name suggests, block all the light from the room with a foil lining. This doubles though as an insulator helping to keep the cool/heat in. The Double Cell material is your next best option if you want to let light through and have a semi-opaque shade. The extra layer of fabric material boosts your R-value to just underneath that of the blackout style. Some vendors also have options available for their single cell lines, such as an Energy Shield, to help these thinner fabrics insulate better.
Adding a rich, elegant look to the rooms while keeping you under budget and well insulated. These blinds don't have quite the same power of insulation like the cellulars above, but they do offer superior light control as well as their own style of privacy options. If you're looking for the best of the bunch, invest some time in looking into the Faux Wood. Made from PVC, these offer the best insulation of the two and come in both decorative whites as well as wood-tones to compliment any decor. Another tip, keep the slats tilted upwards for the best effect.
Ever seen those old, transparent roll up blinds in the car dealership windows? Not very appealing, but they do serve a purpose. Well they've undergone some transformations lately, and the Solar Shade is looking great! These are roll up style blinds that help insulate in a snap, and come in varying colors and designs, as well as having the option for motorization on hard to reach places. They'll reject up to 99% UV Rays, as around 80% of the sun's glare and energy.
Let's say you already have treatments that you love up in the window, or you want to leave it open for a nice view of the backyard outside---how can we fix up that window? Well how about a thin film on the window that will not only keep your view, but also save energy. That's where window film comes in; by adhering to the glass with a tight, but removable bond that will stay for years. For optimal energy efficiency, these films can help to cut up to 50% of your energy bills! The Gila company who manufactures one style that we carry, has made up a great calculator to quickly come up with potential savings, and aide you with your decision. My house is saving nearly $200 a year thanks to this!
If you have any questions on any of these products, or would like to share your own decorative insulation tips, please let me know~