If you have cats, you know how much they love to sit in the windows. When you have horizontal blinds, you know how annoying that can be. I used to live in a place that had big windows right by the front door.
From there, you could see almost the entirety of the first floor. So, when I wasn’t home, I made an effort to keep the blinds closed for safety reasons. Much to my dismay, the cute fluffs who were there during the day did not have the same sentiment I did about keeping onlookers from gawking.
Nor did they care about my horizontal blinds. After a handful of months, I knew I’d have to replace them. Because of my cats’ need to sit in the only window they weren’t allowed in, they destroyed more of the blinds than I could repair.
That’s only the first reason why I choose vertical blinds. Not only can cats slide right through them, causing neither the cat nor the blinds harm, but their design is far superior. The most common horizontal blinds are thin and snap off over time, even without curious paws.
A multitude of thin lines can keep out the sun but they don’t help as much to keep the temperature comfortable.
Energy Saving Blinds
Vertical blinds are built differently. The blades are wider and thicker. That adds an extra layer of protection in comparison to horizontal blinds.
English Blinds explains, “When fully closed, vertical blinds create an additional layer of insulation to reduce heat loss and save energy; or in summer, to deflect the sun and reduce the internal temperature in hotter rooms.” Of course, some vertical blinds are better than others. I’ve put together a list of the various types of vertical blinds and how they protect more or less than the others.
This option can be more fun due to the variety of colors and patterns fabric blinds come in. The thing about them, too, is that they also add a softness to a room. Unlike reflective blinds, fabric absorbs the sun.
So, there’s no instant glare when you open the blinds. The fabric keeps the sun from coming through, putting on an extra layer of insulation. In addition to colors, the type of fabric is optional as well.
There is more to choose from than most people realize. Some fabrics insulate better than others. The thicker the fabric is, often the more insulating it is.
Another great bonus about fabric vertical blinds is that they are vacuum-friendly.
Talk about aesthetics. Wood blinds have the ability to really transform a room. It could also really clash with a room, depending on the decor.
However, I think most things actually work well with wood or can with a little tweaking. These strong, long, and thick slabs of wood do an excellent job of maintaining room temperature. Wood blinds are also great for eco-friendly design.
Much of the wood is sourced in a way that is less harmful to the environment. They last for such a long time, too, which makes them even more of a green choice. To ensure that longevity, be sure to keep the windows or doors they cover closed tight.
Leaks aren’t good for the wood, nor is extreme heat for extended periods of time.
I know what you’re thinking. Metal blinds sound like a bad idea. The thing that’s supposed to keep you from the sun is going to burn you if you touch them.
That’s not the case. In fact, I feel like if they were going to burn you that the blinds wouldn’t be sold due to almost guaranteed lawsuits. Metal would also blind someone walking by on the outside. No thanks.
More often than not, metal blinds are made of aluminum and they aren’t shiny, most have a matte finish. Metal blinds also come in titanium. Now, sure, you can find some crazy-looking blinds like the gold mirror kind, but those are vinyl.
The benefit of metal blinds is the cost. They give a unique feel to your doors or windows without breaking the bank. If you get them wet, it’s no big deal.
If you really want to up the ante on eco-friendly, PVC is a better option than plastic. To be fair, they do have that plastic-y appearance but the material makes the difference. PVC, polyvinyl chloride, is another budget-friendly way of keeping your room in the cool, or the warm, depending on the season.
PVC can come in thicker panels that help keep a room isolated even more. Being flame-resistant is also a nice perk. These blinds are flexible and almost glow during the day.
Smarten Up the Blinds
As technology advances, so does every aspect of a home. Ever seen a smart home? It’s like that homeowner is living in the 22nd century while we’re stuck here in the 21st.
That passion for innovation doesn’t stop at the windows. Devices exist that turn on lights, play music, and have your air condition running. Now, you can also connect your blinds to an app.
In that app, you can open the blinds with just the tap of a button. That means if you’re waking up across the world, you can check to see if you forgot to close the blinds. If you did, you can remotely shut them from the convenience of wherever you are.
Heck, you don’t even need to leave the house. Open the blinds while you’re brushing your teeth! Thanks to an attached motor, the blinds are at your beck and call.
1. What type of window protection provides the best insulation?
If you really want to insulate a room, you’re going to want something that’s a bit more double-sided to add an extra impact zone. According to the Department of Energy, “Insulated cellular shades are typically considered to have the highest R-values of all window coverings. The air pockets in the honeycomb cross-sections act as insulators, increasing the R-value and reducing the conduction of heat through the window.”
2. Do blinds insulate better than curtains?
The number one priority for a set of blinds is covering the window. Blinds are designed to be right up against the glass. They are the first line of defense when it comes to the sun and whatever else mother nature throws in the direction of your home.
Because of the tight positioning, they are more energy efficient than curtains. Curtains aren’t flush with the wall the way blinds are with windows. Even so, they do cover more area and that helps keep more heat inside.
Another benefit in addition to the heat is soundproofing. Curtains are more likely to keep the sounds happening from your neighbors where they belong, outside. So, it really depends on what you’re going for.
Perhaps you could use curtains in the winter and blinds in the summer. If you really want to isolate your space, use both!
3. Should the blinds be up all winter?
If you’re trying to find ways to keep a room warm or draw in the sun, it’s all in how you twist. The nice thing about vertical blinds is you can control how open and in what direction light flows in. You can turn them just enough so the sun filters through without being completely exposed to the elements.
If you’re looking to attract heat, that’s the best way.
4. Are faux wood blinds good for insulation?
You may think that, because they aren’t genuinely wood-based, faux wood doesn’t have the insulation properties of the real stuff. Luckily, the blind makers are aware of synthetic shortcomings and come up with a plan for that. This type of wood blind actually does act like the regular ones and performs a good job at insulating in all seasons.
5. Can blinds stop a draft from coming in?
When installed correctly, blinds can be great at keeping the drafts at bay. Although, if you’re finding drafts to be a problem, the better window covering would be horizontal blinds. Vertical blinds are loose around the window.
While they have great coverage when it comes to insulation, the space between the wall and the blinds would give more opportunity for a draft than horizontal blinds. If drafts are a continuous problem, it might be time to look beyond the blinds and check into weatherproofing your home.