Whether you’re already within the depths of winter, or simply planning ahead, warmth is one of the top variables of household comfort. Considering how many people work remotely these days and therefore spend much more time at home than before, keeping your home effectively insulated and maintaining as low of heating prices as possible is of greater importance than ever. That being said, shades are the most effective window treatment for trapping heat within your home. They’re much more effective than blinds, shutters, and even custom-made draperies. Consider this your insider guide to the crème de la crème of insulated windows and contemporary shades.
Choosing the Right Windows For Your Shades is a Must
Let’s start at the very beginning. As magnificently insulated as window treatments, (especially shades) can be, their effectiveness will plummet if you don’t have the proper windows supporting them. Low quality windows that aren’t built for cold climates just aren’t capable of keeping heat in and blocking cold air from entering your home. This negatively impacts your HVAC system, forcing it to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. In turn, since your heater has to pump out more hot air to keep your home warm, your heating bill will be higher than it could be with high quality windows.
How to Choose the Best Windows to Retain Warmth in Your Home
Experts point out that the most heat sneaks out through the edges of the window frame, so selecting ones that are in top condition and constructed of the right materials is paramount. Although it’s impossible for any window frame to be completely airtight, you’ll know something is amiss with your if there’s a noticeable draft floating in. Think wearing wool sweaters, scarves, and blankets around your house constantly even though the windows are closed and the heat is cranked all the way up. If this, or a lesser version of it sounds familiar and you’re looking to transform your home from an icy tundra into a toasty haven, opt for windows that have wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or composite frames.
Professionals from Window World recommend wood with vinyl cladding as the top choice out of the above list of window materials because it retains heat best and the vinyl will protect the wood. Additionally, when you’re deciding on the windows themselves, take note that double or triple pane windows are much thicker and thus more insulated than single pane windows. The difference is comparable to one vs. two ply toilet paper. Regardless of which window frame you choose, keep in mind that the space around your window should be carefully sealed and caulked because this is another potential area for chilly air to seep into your home. Some of the highest rated window companies in NJ are Universal Windows Direct of New Jersey, Jantek Industries LLC and New Jersey Windows and Siding, Inc. Now, onto finding the best contemporary shades for your windows.
Shade Heat Retention Technology Demystified
The best insulated shades are a unique type of cellular shade product called honeycomb shades. These are composed of rows of honeycomb-shaped pleats which create cells that trap cold air, preventing it from entering the home. There are single-celled honeycombs and dual-celled ones. Single refers to one honeycomb, while double is two honeycombs horizontally tessellated.
These cutting edge window treatments have different R-values depending on how the cells are arranged. For example, a single cell shade that filters, but does not block out light completely will be noticeably less energy efficient than black-out shades with double cells.
R-value refers to the ability to insulate against heat flow. For some perspective on this, most double pane windows have an R-value of 1.8. Our trusted source, Direct Energy Business advises looking for honeycomb shades with an R-value range between 2 and 5. They also state that honeycomb shades can ward off the cold approximately as well as a 1/8th inch sheet of insulated foam. Therefore, with the R-value of your windows and window treatments combined, you’ll feel cozy without the need to heap every comforter, quilt, and duvet in your house onto yourself. Plus, you’ll save lots of money on your heating bill!
Hunter Douglas Shades’ Innovative Honeycomb Design
The pioneering engineers at Hunter Douglas Installers invented the HD Duette honeycomb shades, the first ever cellular shade to provide energy efficiency for your windows in both warm and cold climates. While Hunter Douglas blinds, as well as blinds from all other brands, allow hot air to escape from between their slats, honeycomb shades trap air within their pleats. Since its inception, the HD Duette has been the leading product of its kind, surpassing its competitors in insulation and overall customer satisfaction. Hunter Douglas took the honeycomb concept a step further than comparable companies when they fashioned the Duette Architella, a riff on the original HD Duette product which provides even more energy efficiency. The Duette Architella achieves this effect with its one-of-a-kind concentric honeycomb pleat design. The honeycomb within a honeycomb structure offers an additional pocket to trap air.
The HD Duette comes with two bonus features as well:
- Sound Absorption: They trap up to 70% of outside sound within their fibers, imbuing the rooms of your home with a more serene energy.
- Black Out Room Darkening: Their side channel design absorbs or deflects nearly all artificial and natural light pouring through the windows. This gives you the ability to block out light for whatever purpose serves you, whether that’s blocking out early morning light to get a sound night’s sleep or creating the perfect cinematic ambience for movie night in your living room.
Personalize Your Hunter Douglas Window Treatments to Your Heart’s Content
The HD Duette shading system is highly customizable; it has the largest selection of both aesthetic and utilitarian factors in the industry. Indulge your unique style and functional needs with their vast array of different pleat sizes, opacities, fabric colors, textures, and operating systems. The company offers shades to fit every type of window, even finicky skylights and unusually shaped panes. Another window treatment company, Graber, designed their own honeycomb shades as well.
Contemporary Shades Options from Graber
Graber took Hunter Douglas’ lead and developed honeycomb-shaped cellular shades. They are similar to Hunter Douglas’ in that their cells also fill with air to insulate windows and save you money on energy costs. Graber offers single and double cell honeycomb shades, but not the ultimate heat retention design of the Architella or any other design that compares. Therefore, while Graber’s shades will keep your home warm, they’re not the optimal window treatment for the most frigid, snowy days of the year or if you live in a severely cold climate. However, Graber’s website does feature an app on their website which allows you to virtually try shades on your windows to help you visualize their window décor offerings in your home.
An Aesthetic Alternative to Honeycomb Shades
If honeycomb shades just aren’t your style, explore the realm of custom-made Roman shades. Roman shades fold in on themselves downwards like a toppled line of horizontal dominoes. While not as energy efficient as Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades, they are insulated and elegant. Blinds Chalet integrates a cellular shade liner into their Fusion Roman shades for a layer of energy efficient insulation. The cellular liner can be drawn and risen independently from the shade. On warmer winter days, lift up the shades and draw the liner to allow filtered light into your home. At night or on arctic freeze-like days, lower the shades to stop cold air from entering through the window. Similar to the aforementioned shades, Roman options also offer light control and privacy. Unfortunately, these shades only offer corded options while Hunter Douglas offers cordless, corded, remote control, and smartphone operating systems.
Get a Second Opinion from Your Trusted Insulation Advisors at Window Trends
Our resident heat retention expert, Anthony, recommends those of you with smart homes to schedule your Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades to lower and your heat to kick on prior to your arrival at home each day, so you’ll be greeted with the comfortable temperature of your choice upon opening the door. You can also control your shades in a more impromptu fashion in the HD app.
Our family owned business is proud to deal Hunter Douglas Window Treatments including the HD Duette and the Architella. We warmly welcome you to our showroom, Window Trends Morristown, NJ as well as to our other showroom location Window Trends, Chatham. Don’t hesitate to contact the Morristown team at 973.401.9048 Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM or the Chatham team at 973.701.2600 Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM and Saturday between 10 AM and 2 PM. You can also fill out our complimentary in-home consultation form to schedule a visit from one of our window treatment specialists.