Can smart blinds help in energy savings?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

With the emergence of green energy, people are getting serious about their energy management. It starts at the home, where power bills can add up to a huge pile. Only embracing renewable energy sources isn’t the only way to reduce energy wastage. Accepting a greener energy management system must also tackle home heating and cooling.

Smart Blinds are modern products that help regulate the temperature by simply screening sun rays and trapping heat. This article explores how you can incorporate window blinds in your home to save electricity bills and maintain a better temperature in the interior.

Traditional Blinds and how they dictate energy usage at home

Although blinds may seem like a basic mechanism to cover windows, they can undoubtedly help in the energy management of a house. Sun rays that enter through the window have a huge impact on the temperature of the interior of the house. If used intelligently, controlling the sun rays can minimize the energy requirements of the house. How? As discussed above, window blinds can help regulate the temperature and save the energy allotted for heaters and air conditioners.

Traditional blinds not only help regulate the temperature but also bring aesthetics in terms of interior decoration.

Windows, Blinds, and Energy Budget

Heating and air conditioning contribute to more than half of the annual energy bill of your house. According to the figures, around 75% of sunlight gets transferred into heat. It can account for up to 40% of the annual energy budget otherwise wasted due to unmanaged home heating. Thus, a window becomes a prominent vulnerable juncture in a building that, if not properly cared for, can lead to massive energy waste. No matter the season, you can prevent energy wastage by using blinds. In scorching summer, your home gets heated up and thus requires an additional conditioning mechanism to keep the temperature comfortable. Using high-quality window blinds can block out light and heat effectively. In winter, the warmth generated by a heater can escape if no blind mechanism is there to stop it.

The Art of Energy Efficient Blinds

Two factors dictate how efficiently window blinds can regulate heat. Firstly, it is necessary to know how a blind can control solar irradiance to manipulate temperature within a given space. The second element gets associated with the usage of the homeowners, where the consistency of use has an impact on the overall cooling or heating needs of the house. So, how do we measure the effectiveness of an energy-efficient blind? To achieve this, we need a parameter called the "R-value," which is related to windows materials that gauge the thermal resistance. As a rule of thumb, better thermal resistance translates to better performance. Typically, a single-pane window has an R-value of 0.9, which is much less effective than a plywood window that has an R-value of 1.25. The greater the R-value the better the more energy-efficient the material is. An optimal choice of windows is a solid wooden structure having an R-value of 2.2. The strategy should be to use material with a higher R-value to enable the highest energy savings.

Mechanisms for blinds

For seamless use, roller shades are a fundamental and simple yet energy-efficient option that provides R-value from 1.3 to 1.8 depending on the fabric. Using 'blackout roller shades,' one can attain better energy savings by eliminating gaps between window shade and window sill. You can choose a roller shade that utilizes solar-screening material for better cooling in the summer. The most energy-efficient blind is known as a cellular shade. This blind uses a mixture of fabrics and comes in two varieties. A 'single-cell' and a 'double-cell'. Their R-value varies from 2.0 to 5.0. Their smart design also helps trap the heat and keep the rooms insulated.

Best practices

Using cutting-edge technology won't help in reducing the energy budget as a whole. The usage will also impact the energy saving you want to achieve through the best blinds available. You can use a smart home system to control the blinds and choose an ideal temperature that you prefer to make a comfortable interior. Apart from this, use a smart blind to have window coverings automatically operated so that you don't have to do it manually all the time.

This article was written in cooperation with Zebra Blinds