Severe winters are quite common in London and indeed, many other parts of the world. During this period, you must make adequate preparations for keeping your household warm. While there are different ways of warming up your room, these ways are quite expensive and may not be easily affordable by many users.
If you keep racking up huge heating bills during winter because of the heating system you use, you may be looking for ways to reduce these costs.
One of these ways is to make use of thermal window coverings and blinds. They do the job of keeping your room warm, effectively helping you to lessen your energy bills, plus they have other benefits too.
What are thermal blinds?
Thermal blinds are window coverings that prevent cold air from coming into your home while locking in the heat that is already present. They are made from layers of different materials, and there are various types of them, with some being more effective than others. Some popular thermal blinds on the market include honeycomb, Venetian, and Roman blinds.
How do they work?
Thermal blinds work by helping to regulate the temperature of a room and increase the insulation levels of a space. Even though houses have some insulation in their structures, windows may not be adequately insulated. In fact, it is thought that a lot of heat, as much as forty per cent is lost through windows.
This is where thermal blinds come in as they help to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
When it is cold, they create a barrier between the room and its windows, locking in the heat that is already in the room, and reducing the amount of cold air that comes into it. Apart from the benefits of blinds during winter, they are also useful during summer.
When summer comes around and it begins to get hot, a thermal blind would help to keep your space cool by reflecting the sun’s heat and directing it away from your room. It will also help to conserve the air-conditioned air that is already in the room. There are different types of thermal blinds on the market, with some offering higher levels of insulation than others.
What are the Benefits of Thermal Blinds?
- They help you to save money: Everyone knows how expensive it is to warm a room during winter using heating methods that require energy. The heating systems in most homes rack up huge bills during winter. Since thermal blinds help to lock heat into the room, you will not need to use your heating at full power, and hence, you can reduce your heating bills.
- They are stylish and classy: Thermal blinds are not only functional, but they can also be stylish and add beauty to your home, depending on the type that you purchase. There are numerous styles and colours of thermal blinds on the market, and so finding one that will match and blend perfectly into your space would not be a difficult task at all.
- They help to reduce the light and noise coming into your room: Apart from heating up or cooling your space, thermal blinds reduce both the noise and the light coming into it. You can easily block out sunlight from entering the room by drawing them. It also enhances your privacy as you can block the light showing in your room. The same thing goes for noise. If your environment is too noisy and you need some quiet, you can draw the blinds to reduce the noise coming from outside.
- They help to regulate your room’s temperature all year round: Thermal blinds serve dual purposes. They help to keep your room warm in the winter by blocking cold air from outside from entering the room. In the summer, they also help to keep your room cool by reflecting the sun’s heat away from your windows.
- They are easy to use, and they can fit different window sizes: using thermal blinds is straightforward and involves no hidden tricks. Also, they come in different sizes, and so you can get one that fits the size of your windows.
- Thermal blinds are eco-friendly: the materials used in making the blinds are environmentally friendly.
Honeycomb blinds are also called cellular shades, and they are quite useful during winter as they help to control light and provide insulation to a room. They are one of the best types of thermal blinds on the market. These blinds are made by blending two or more fabrics or layers, pleating them together to form cells which are shaped like a honeycomb, hence the name ‘honeycomb blinds‘.
The cells are of varying sizes ranging from 3/8 inches to 9/16 inches. Blinds with smaller cells do not have as much space as those with larger cells, and so, they will not provide as much insulation as those with larger cells.
Blinds with smaller cells are also cheaper and are not as bulky as those with larger cells. Depending on the type, honeycomb blinds may be made with thin and translucent fabric.
- They have a slim profile: The slim profile of these blinds means that they have a small stack, and so, they are not bulky when stacked, unlike Roman blinds.
- They offer insulation: Honeycomb blinds perform the function of locking heat into a room during winter because of their fabric cells. These fabric cells help to trap air between the blinds and the windows, thereby insulating the room. Apart from that, they also help to cool a room during summer, and so, you can use them all year round.
- They help to reduce the noise coming from outside your home: They are made with a cellular construction that helps to reduce the noise coming from outside your home. This property is particularly useful if you would like to sleep during the day, and the noise cannot allow you to go to sleep.
- They help to block light from coming into your home and offer you better privacy: In the same way that they reduce the noise coming into your home, honeycomb thermal blinds also reduces the light coming into your room. This is very useful if you will like to sleep during the day and would not want the sunlight to disturb your sleep. The double cell blackout ones are especially great for privacy as they have multiple layers that will prevent passersby from seeing your room and will also significantly reduce the amount of light that people can see in your room from outside.
- You will not be able to control light as you wish: Unlike Venetian blinds that allow you to control the amount of light entering your room, honeycomb blinds do not let you do that. This is because, with Venetian blinds, you can easily rotate the slats, choosing the amount of sunlight that you want to enter the room. If you have single cell honeycomb blinds, you will not be able to darken your room entirely except it’s a blackout fabric. The same goes for if you have a blackout fabric as you will not be able to let light in partially.
- They are not easy to clean: Your blinds will surely gather dust and become dirty over time, especially if you live on dusty and busy roads. When this happens, you will need to clean them, both for the sake of hygiene, and to make your home look good. However, honeycomb blinds are not easy to clean because of their structure. You will need to take your time cleaning each cell of the blind if you want to do a good job of cleaning it.
- Some people do not consider them as classy: If you are the fashionable type who wants a stylish blind, or you have tastefully decorated your home, you may not find honeycomb blinds stylish enough for you. However, you may solve this problem by blending your honeycomb blind with some other window treatments that suit your taste. This way, you will get the benefits that these blinds provide while maintaining your taste.
- They are somewhat expensive: While honeycomb blinds are not the most expensive ones on the market, there are cheaper blinds, such as the Venetian blinds.
Venetian blinds are of two types which include aluminium and wood blinds. Their slats are of different sizes, including 25 mm, 35mm and 50 mm. The smaller the size of the blind, the more the slats in it and vice versa.
The wooden ones are made from slats of wood attached to a string. They are usually thicker than aluminium Venetians and provide a stylish look for homes. Depending on what you want, you can opt for having the strings of the blind show, or at an additional cost, you can decide to cover it up with tapes of fabric.
Aluminium Venetian blinds are lightweight, are available in different colours, and are perforated for texture and wood finishes. Because they are lightweight, their slats are delicate, and this is something that you should take into cognisance if you want to purchase an aluminium Venetian.
- They are cheaper than other types: Venetian blinds are less expensive than honeycomb and Roman ones.
- They are easy to clean: cleaning and maintaining these blinds is quite straight forward. To clean them, you can use a damp cloth to wipe each slat. Ensure that you allow the blinds, especially the wood ones to dry after cleaning.
- They offer privacy: Venetian blinds have horizontal slats that prevent people outside your room from seeing inside it.
- You can control the amount of light coming into the room: These blinds are the best ones for blocking out the light coming into your room from outside. Apart from blocking out light, they also allow you to control the amount of light coming into your room because you can adjust them as you wish. For instance, if you do not want too much light to get into the room, you can angle down the slats of the blind to reduce its intensity
- They last long and are easy to redecorate: Venetian blinds, especially the wooden ones, last long and so, you would not need to replace them often. Even if you want to redecorate your room, you can easily revarnish your blinds to match your new decorations instead of purchasing new ones.
- They are not very easy to install, and if you do not have the right expertise, you will need professional help installing them.
- The wood Venetian is not suitable for places like bathrooms and kitchens.
While the majority of roman blinds have only small insulating properties, there are also thermal roman blinds on the market. These are made from fabric, come in different colours and draw up in pleats.
The fabric is usually coated with light filtering (one-pass), dimming (two-pass) or block out (three-pass) insulating treatments to give it its insulating properties.
As usual, you can choose one that will match the style in which you have decorated your home.
- They are of varying styles and are always fashionable: they come in different styles and materials, and so you can easily choose one to match your space. You can also choose between a traditional design and a contemporary design depending on what your tastes are. Also, they have been around for a long time, and there are no signs that they are going to go out of style any time soon. Therefore, you can make use of your blind for years until it needs a replacement.
- They are easy to clean: The synthetic materials that these blinds are made from makes them very easy to clean, unlike some other types.
- You can use some in the damp parts of the house: Some roman blinds are suitable for parts of the house like kitchens and bathrooms that are usually damp. This is because of their synthetic material that is not so vulnerable to mould and is also easy to clean.
- You can use them to cover up glass areas in your house: Areas of your house that you may want to cover up for purposes such as glass doors and enclosed patios can be covered up nicely by Roman blinds.
- They are not very safe to use if you have children and pets at home: Because roman blinds make use of cords, they may pose a hazard to little children and pets in a home if there are any dangling cords. Children or pets could trip over the cords and the cords might even pose a choking hazard.
- You can only have them up or down: this feature is a big disadvantage of these blinds. Unlike vertical blinds which you can tilt according to your wishes, Roman blinds can be rolled down, in which case you would not be able to view outside. You can decide to roll up the blinds, but then, your privacy will be reduced as people will be able to see inside.
How do I make the most of my thermal blinds during winter?
To use your thermal blinds to greatly reduce the heat in your room during winter, you will need to trap the sun’s heat into your room. What this means is that as soon as the sun comes up, you should open the blinds so that the room can get warm from sunlight. As soon as the sun starts setting, you should shut them so that the warmth from the sun during the day will remain in the room.
What are the things to note when purchasing thermal blinds?
- Insulating properties: since you want your thermal blind to keep your room warm during winter, it will be best if you purchased one with great insulating properties.
- The appearance of the blinds: You may also need to check if the blinds that you are buying match your taste and the decoration of your room.
- The amount of light that you want to come into your room: In this case, you will need to choose between blackout blinds and regular ones that will allow more light to come into your room even when they are closed.
- The rooms that need the most insulation in your home.
- The type of maintenance the blinds require and if they will last long.
- The total cost of the blind, including installation.
- The size of your window: You must make sure that the blind that you are getting fits your window and there are no gaps. If there are gaps, cold air will circulate back to your room.
- The type of room in which you are going to install the blinds (some blinds will not be suitable for some parts of a home such as kitchens and toilets). Some blinds can be used in such areas and so before you purchase one for such places, you should confirm if it can withstand the dampness associated with them.
Thermal blinds are very efficient for keeping your space warm during winter. Also, they are useful for cooling your room during the summer when the weather is too hot. Each type of blind discussed above has its benefits and, depending on what you prefer, you can get one to help reduce your energy bills drastically.