Last week I wrote about protecting your furnishings from the sun's harmful UV rays with window film and trilight shades. This week's blog is about protecting your wallet from the current heatwave. Specifically, let's talk insulation and energy savings. As I write this at 9:50 p.m. my air conditioner is running, running and running. And the electric meter is spinning, spinning and spinning, creating an electric bill that I won't want to see at the end of the month.
A product with great insulating qualities for heatwaves (and/or sub-zero temperatures in the winter - even though we don't want to think about that right now) is the honeycomb shade, also known as a cellular shade. It comes in single, double and triple cells. The air inside your home is trapped inside each cell creating a nice insulation barrier for your windows. It keeps the cold air in and the hot air out, with the converse being true in the winter. Room darkening cells (typically used in bedrooms) are lined with foil as an additional barrier for insulation.
Typical cell sizes are: 3/8” Single Cell,1/2” Single Cell, ¾” Single Cell, 3/8” Double Cell, Triple Cell, 1 ¼” Cell. In viewing the picture you will see that the more cells, the better the insulation or "R-Value." A window-shade's R-Value is defined as "it's ability to resist heat-flow." The higher the R-Value the better insulation provided. Cellular shades are one of the best products you can put in your windows if you need insulation.
Beyond the energy efficiency they also look nice! Honeycomb shades come in many shapes and sizes: Vertical formats for sliding glass doors, Operable fan-folds or horizontal top-down operable cellulars for arches. There's also circles, and specialty shapes available. Cellular shades work well in large bay windows. They can be mounted inside each frame of glass where you might want to preserve the look of the molding, and have the flexibility to raise the inside panels and leave the outer panels closed. Or you can have one long shade to be raised or lowered on the face of the bay window.
Honeycomb shades provide the best of form and function. With the current heatwave (or substitute below-zero temperatures in the winter), your wallet and electric bill will thank you for using honeycomb shades in your windows.