The best insulation blinds

Windows account for the greatest amount of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer -- consuming up to 50 per cent of the energy you use to heat or cool your home. Instead of spending big bucks on replacement windows, install energy-efficient insulating window blinds to cut your energy consumption and add beauty to your home. The best insulating blinds wield fabrics and designs that create insulating barriers between windows and rooms, which can save you up to 30 per cent a year in heating costs.

Hunter Douglas Duette Architella

A cellular blind with nearly an R-8 insulating value, the highest value in the window coverings industry. According to Hunter Douglas, R-value measures "a product's ability to resist heat flow, which is especially important in cold winter months. The higher the R-value, the more insulation it provides and the better it is at reducing heat loss." Cellular blinds trap "dead air" between pleated, horizontal layers arranged in single and double rows of hexagonal cells that look like honeycombs. The air between cells can't flow horizontally, creating an additional insulating barrier between the window and room. The Architella furnishes three air pockets between opaque and semi-opaque fabrics; Panache™ or the new Elan™ line. An interior pleat sewn between the outer walls of the honeycomb preserves the blind's shape and improves insulation.

Bali's Verticell blinds

A cellular blind with an R-7 value. With this impressive value, the Verticell cuts your energy costs, but savings vary depending on the size of your room. Easy to clean, easy to use, the Verticell beats other brands that make cleaning difficult because of their lock-in-place designs. Verticell utilises movable track rails, which allow users to open it from the sides. Other brands often eliminate this feature, making cleaning the product difficult. Verticell achieves its insulation rating for its cellular design.

Roman shades

Roman or fabric shades insulate homes with layers of heavy cotton and polyester blended fabrics quilted together to stop air flow through windows. Thermal foam backing, available on select styles, traps air to reduce heat loss through windows in cold months, while reflecting heat in the summer. Take care with roman shades equipped with fabrics and cords that can form a loop that poses a strangulation hazard for young children and animals.

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About the Author

Tina Boyle has been writing since 2000. Trained as a journalist, she has traveled to over 150 US cities. She specializes in travel, culture, pets, business and social networking and regularly publishes in newspapers, magazines and on Web sites. She received a Bachelor of Arts in writing from the College of Santa Fe.