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Energy Efficient Window Shades

By on November 16, 2009

The number one areas for heat transfer in your home are your windows.  Heat transfer includes heat loss in the winter and then heat gain in the summer.  In the winter about 10% to 25% of the money you put into creating heat literally goes out the window.  Visa-versa, you have the additional expense of conditioning heat that radiates through your windows during the summer months.

Get Control, Get Cellular

There are many ways to control the amount of heat that is transferred through windows.  One very easy do it yourself method is through the use of cellular shades.  Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades or blinds, are a great way to reduce the amount of heat that is transferred through your windows.  When you view a cellular shade from its side and in the “down” position you will see that there are two pieces of fabric sewn together in a series of pleats that create “honeycombs,” hence their nickname.   These honeycombs run the width of the shade creating multiple air pockets.  The air pockets are the secret to the shades ability to reduce heat transfer.  They form an insulation barrier between the windowpane and the room.

Cellular shades come in a variety of styles.  There is single-cell or double-cell, light filtering or blackout, and top mounted vs. sidetrack mounted.  The different styles have varying R-values, which is a measurement for a material’s ability to resist heat transfer.  The most basic cellular shades are single-cell.  They are still a major improvement over standard window shades in controlling heat transfer.  Double-cell shades will provide additional resistance compared to single-cell.  Blackout shades are more effective than light filtering, and shades that are mounted on sidetracks resist infiltration better than top mounted shades because gaps on the sides are sealed.  Of course, you will spend more money for every added feature.

Simple and Easy… On Your Wallet

Installed Shade

Installed Shade

If you’re interested in taking an inexpensive step toward reducing your heat bill, RediShade makes a basic single-cell top mounted shade for “do–it-yourselfers” and it takes no time at all to install them.  It’s called the Cellular Easy Touch and is available at Costco warehouse stores.  The kit comes with the shade and all necessary hardware including a trimming tool so you can size the shades at home.  All you have to do is measure the interior width of your window.  The Redishade has measurement and cutting guides already installed so you just position the cutting guide to the number that matches your measurement, grab the trimming tool, and cut away.  Then, screw the two mounts into your window trim and snap your shade in place.  Another bonus is these shades have a push button release and catch, so no cords.  Certainly a great safety feature if you have small children running around.

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