Do you remember the days when insulated window treatments consisted of big, bulky and even unattractive methods of keeping the cold out? I certainly do! It doesn't seem that long ago that in order to keep the house cool in the midst of a hot Texas summer, you would see all kinds of crazy concoctions. Thankfully, those days are over. It is easy to find attractive window treatments.
The Old Days of Insulating
Down in the south where it gets hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, you do whatever it takes to keep out the heat. For many that meant turning their home into a mini dungeon. We even jokingly referred to my mother-in-law's house as "the cave."
She lived on a limited income. Therefore, she did whatever it took to keep the electric bill down. She did a good job at it too. First, she would cover the windows with tinfoil to reflect back the sunlight. (This practice became so common, that many apartment complexes actually made it a violation of the lease to do!)
Next, she would put up the roller shades. This was to block any light that might have made it past the tinfoil. Then, she pulled closed these thick heavy curtains, effectively blocking out all light and insulating the room.
Since, light bulbs give off heat too; those were kept to a bare minimum. It took you a few minutes to adjust to the light but her house was always nice and cool, even on the hottest days of the year.
More Current Solutions
Thankfully the days of tinfoil and blocking out all light have passed. Now people have the option of choosing attractive blinds and still insulating their homes.
Shades vs Blinds
Your most basic option is between choosing the shades or blinds. They both work well but of course, one works better than the other.
Blinds - If you want air to circulate, then you will want to go with blinds. Real wood blinds work great for this and they also act as good insulators as well.
Shades - If you want pure protection, then you need to go with the shade. The shade has no breaks, which allows air to pass. Single and double cell cellular shades are among the top insulators. They too come in a range of light filtering options including room darkening and black out.
Combination - Day and night Roman shades offer you the best of both worlds. When it is hot out, lower both the solar screen and the Roman shade for maximum cooling and room darkening. On cooler days, open up the Roman shade and leave down the solar screen to block out harsh UV glare.
With all the attractive options available, there is no need to add that horrible tin foil to your windows any more. Insulated window treatments are both affordable and attractive.