By: Liam Nimbleton
As energy prices rise and weather conditions necessitate protection from extreme heat and cold, more and more homeowners are turning to cellular shades as a cost-effective solution to reduce energy bills and maintain a comfortable living space. Also known as honeycomb or pleated shades, these innovative window coverings help retain heat indoors in the winter and keep heat out in the summer. And the benefits of cellular shades don’t stop there. With a unique design that eliminates the gaps seen in other window coverings, a wide range of materials and opacities to choose from, and the option for motorization, cellular shades also enhance the privacy and comfort of your home.
Windows brighten up a home and let us take in views of the outside. Unfortunately, this aesthetic benefit comes at a cost.
Cellular shades trap air between two layers of pleated fabric, creating a honeycomb shape when lowered and collapsing on itself when raised. This layer of air acts as a buffer between a home’s internal temperature and that of the outdoors and is particularly effective in colder climates. Much like an insulated water bottle retains the heat of a hot drink by slowing heat exchange with a layer of air placed between two walls, cellular shades add a “reduced speed” sign to the temperature exchange that takes place at a home’s windows.
When choosing the best cellular shades for energy efficiency, there are a number of factors to keep in mind to ensure you get the most energy-efficient cellular shades for your home.
1. Number of cells: Cellular shades come in both single and double-layer options, with the latter offering extra insulation if you live in an especially hot or cold climate. The size of the cells themselves can also vary, with options from 3/4 of an inch to 4 inches, but this is largely a matter of personal preference with minimal differences in energy efficiency.
2. Sizing: The benefits of cellular shades can only be fully realized if your shades are well-fitting. With sizing options from 8”-174” wide and 6”-192” high, it’s easy to find the best cellular shades for energy efficiency for almost any home.
3. Opacity: Cellular shades have various opacity options, ranging from sheer to complete blackout. Although you will see energy efficiency benefits from all opacities, the more opaque fabrics will naturally keep out more heat-causing sunlight.
4. Materials: The materials you choose will, of course, affect the insulating properties of your cellular shades, with heavier-duty materials increasing energy efficiency.
The benefit of cellular shades is that their unique design and an expansive range of sizing options ensure peering eyes and curious ears will be kept away. Indeed, privacy concerns are one of the main reasons we buy shades, and cellular shades deliver in spades.
Unlike blinds, which sacrifice privacy to let light in, the gapless design of cellular shades can let light in while still keeping prying eyes at bay. Whether you live in a city apartment with neighbors nearby or a traditional home with varying needs based on window location, cellular shades come in a range of opacities.
So, for example, if you have a south-facing kitchen window where you’d like to have good light during the day while maintaining your privacy, a sheer or semi-sheer opacity may suit you best. Or if you live in a city with lots of light pollution, a blackout cellular shade would likely be preferable for your bedroom so that you can get a better night's sleep. With options for sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque, and blackout, you can tailor the opacity of your cellular shades to meet your privacy needs.
No one wants people listening in on their conversations. While cellular shades will not entirely eliminate sounds from escaping or noise from leaking indoors, well-fitting cellular shades will reduce internal and external sound seepage. And with the benefit of keeping your home cool in the summer, you may even be able to keep your windows closed for maximum privacy.
The benefits of cellular shades are not limited to energy efficiency and privacy—they also look great! A wide range of styles to choose from, light management, and options for motorization guarantee that you will love everything about your cellular shades.
Whether you choose one of the many white or gray options available or opt for adding a splash of color, cellular shades come in a wide range of colors and materials. You can even play with the cell sizes themselves, choosing a small cell cellular shade for small windows and a large cell one for large windows—or vice versa, it’s up to you. Not only do cellular shades come in several styles, they’re also stylish to boot.
With options for materials, single and double cell configurations, various pleat sizes, and several opacities available, cellular shades can help you manage your lighting needs for all the rooms in your house. You can choose shades that let a subtle light diffuse the room, ones that completely block all external light or something in between. Gone are the days when it’s a choice between either too much light or not enough.
If you know that you will frequently be raising and lowering your cellular shades, especially with windows that are hard to reach, motorized cellular blinds can be a godsend. With just a push of a button on a phone, tablet, remote, or wall switch, you can raise and lower your shades to the desired height. You can even set them up to work with a home automation device. You no longer have to get up from the dinner table or pause the movie to lower the shades. Moreover, motorization even helps reduce wear and tear on your shades.
If you’re looking to install the most energy-efficient cellular shades for your home and reap the benefits of added privacy and comfort, you can rely on Stoneside Blinds & Shades to help you every step of the way. Ranked #1 in America with all our products manufactured in the U.S., you can trust Stoneside to deliver quality products with unparalleled service. Give us a call or live chat with us to schedule a free in-home design consultation, and we’ll assist you in finding the perfect cellular shades to fit your needs and individual lifestyle.