Design Find: Blinds that Save Energy | Home Design Find

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Design Find: Blinds that Save Energy

Illusions Transitional Shades

Many homeowners would be shocked to learn that as much as 25 to 50 percent of heating and cooling energy can be lost through leaky windows.  That means that choosing window treatments — a seemingly simple little task —  is pretty serious business. It effects not only the comfort level of your home, but also the thickness of your wallet.

The good news is that there are more choices than ever available for the eco-conscious yet design-minded homeowner. And as technology improves, there are likely to be even more stylish and environmentally-friendly options on the horizon.

One great option is the Illusions Transitional Shades which have the look of blinds, and that stack to allow for maximum flexibility in adjusting for light. These shades, available at, are especially adapted to warm climates since they are best at reducing summer heat rather than reducing winter heat loss. (All slatted window treatments, whether they be vertical or horizontal, wood or fabric, are a better option when filtering sunlight and keeping a home cool is the main objective. )

Do you live in a cold climate and you’re more concerned about heat loss? Consider honeycomb cellular shades, below.  Cellular shades are excellent insulators, since the shades are made of “cells”which provide a pocket of insulation against warm or cool air.  The more cells there are, the more energy efficient the shade.

Honeycomb Shades Living Room Casual green

The great thing about honeycomb cellular shades is that they can provide privacy while still letting in light. They also provide a very neutral look that can work in a variety of interiors. Above, these shades look perfect in an earthy, ethnic, rustic interior. But check out the cellular shades below! They work equally in this more modern and minimal setting:

Honeycomb Shades Kitchen Contemporary 2 green

Cellular shades come in a variety of colors and some are designed to be blackout shades which can darken a room, unlike standard cellular shades. They can also be configured as top-down or bottom-up, and in a vertical orientation for sliding doors. They come in an array of colors, from brights to neutrals, and some come as cordless for an even more streamlined look. A variety of models are also available at Budget Blinds.

A third option for energy efficiency is the traditional wood shutter, as seen below.

Energy Saving Wood Shutters

Both interior and exterior wood shutters —can help reduce heat gain and loss. Wood shutters, used traditionally around the world for centuries, are extremely effective because they are a solid material — great at blocking out summer sun or wintry winds.

A fourth window treatment that provides great insulation, particularly in cold climates, is the hobbled roman shade, also at Budget Blinds. These shades look elegant and luxurious and are perfect in more traditional settings.

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when choosing window treatments:

In warm climates...

  • Choose white window shades or blinds to better reflect heat away from the house.
  • Apply sun-control or reflective film on south-facing windows.
  • Close blinds on south and west facing windows during the day.

In cold climates…

  • Install tight-fitting, insulated window shades on drafty windows. Honeycomb shades are ideal, and consider choosing the double cell shades.
  • Keep windows on your south side clean to maximize solar gain.
  • Close your blinds during the evening and open them during the day.

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