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Thermal Blinds

If you're looking to reduce household bills and create a cosy, comfortable home, you'll want to look at thermal blinds.   Ever walk into a room in your home and shiver? Or maybe it's the other way around and it feels like you've walked off an aeroplane into a blanket of heat. Either way, these are both signs that temperature isn't being managed effectively in your home. Thermal blinds are designed to specifically help these issues and more. In the UK, our seasons are vastly different with very cold winters and very warm summers. And because of this, we need to heat and cool our homes to keep them comfortable.

On average, somewhere between 10 and 20% of household heat is lost directly through windows. This is from draughts, convection and conduction. The first can be solved by having your windows fitted professionally and using sealant as a temporary solution. However, convection will happen regardless of how well your windows are fitted. Warm air passes through cooler glass surfaces, passing outdoors and disappearing into nature. If you don't have an effective window covering, you're likely losing a lot of heat through your windows. Losing heat directly correlates to spending more - your energy bills will be more expensive if you don't take control over heat loss.

 

Why thermal window coverings?

Windows and glazed areas are a major weakness in a building's overall thermal performance and a major source of heat loss and gain.   The UK climate has defined seasons and in the winter we need to heat our homes to keep them warm and prevent heat loss. And similarly, in the summer we need to cool our houses and prevent heat gain.We insulate our lofts and our walls but why are we not insulating our windows with thermal blinds?  Blinds have traditionally been used for privacy and light control with extra consideration for aesthetics.    But following several harsh winters and boiling summers we are coming to realise that we need to take more control of the energy entering and leaving our homes and blinds are needing to work harder than they ever have before.  Mechanical cooling ventilation methods such as air conditioning is expensive to run and there is also a large initial outlay for it.  Central heating is also incredibly expensive to run so we make the best use possible of every tool we have in our armoury.  The long-ignored thermal benefits of blinds are finally being recognised.  The right thermal window blind will minimise heat loss, lock in temperatures and keep your home at a more consistent level throughout the year. They create a physical, reflective barrier between the outside world and your home, reducing draughts.

 

Why does the home get so hot during the summer?

During the summer, the suns Ultra violet and Infrared rays enter the home through the windows.  The rays get trapped in the form of long-wave radiation.  This long-wave radiation gets trapped by the windows and makes the home very hot.  The only way to cool the home during the summer once the sun's rays have entered is by mechanical methods either forcing the heat out with air conditioning or pushing the heat out with a cross breeze.  Cooling via opening windows and a cross breeze can only be achieved when the heat of the day has passed and there is a breeze! 

Cooling a hot room is therefore reliant on air conditioning or fans which can be expensive and produces carbon thus creating a vicious cycle and ironically contributing to the greenhouse effect and compounding the problem for future generations.

 

Why does the home get so cold during the winter?

During the winter you have the opposite problem where you want to stop the warm air from inside your home from leaving.   Warm air rises so it can escape through roof windows and when it eventually seeks out the cold surfaces of your windows it cools the warm air that you have spent money on.  Your money and heat literally go out the window.  The trick is to stop the warm air inside your home from touching the cold surface of your glass. 

 

The Science

In the UK, all properties must abide by strict Building Regulations. Within these, there is specific guidance on the right types of materials - specifically concerning insulation. The materials used must be able to retain a comfortable amount of heat to keep the home liveable and safe for all occupants. Insulation is measured by U-Value.

A U-value is the measurement of the amount of heat lost by an object. The lower, the better. A standard double-glazed window typically has a U-value of 2.9. Add an internal blind and the U-value could improve to 2.1. That's nearly a 30% improvement just from using the correct blind. Research conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University has proven that a roller blind constructed from an energy-saving fabric is as effective as lined curtains at preventing heat loss. And research has clearly shown that blinds will almost always improve the U-value of a window. How much will depend on the glazing and the blind used. If you have old, drafty windows, why not consider a blind which is contained in its own frame? Called cassette blinds, these improve the thermal efficiency of the blind by removing any gaps around the extremities. Advice from the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers and studies by others have shown that a cassette blind with an insulating fabric can improve U-values by over 40%.

 

How should you use your blinds?

Blinds are like "thermostats for your windows", you adjust them with the seasons.  If you use your blinds correctly they can have a very positive effect on your comfort at home and your energy costs. You create a home that locks heat in during the winter and works to prevent heat build-up during the summer too.

In the winter, blinds should be opened in the morning to harvest free solar energy, but closed again when the sun goes down to help retain the heat. Of course, you could automate your blind by using motors and sensors to ensure you are always maximizing your energy saving.

 

How to use your blind during the summer

In the summer, the blind should remain closed during the day and be opened at night.  If you use your blinds like this the heat remains outside during the day (reducing the need for air conditioning and fans). If you leave your blinds and windows open, the sun's radiation will enter the home and then get trapped in the form of long-wave energy which is difficult to remove without a through breeze and air conditioning and other mechanical methods is then the only way to cool down the home.  By closing your thermal blinds on hot days you are preventing the sun's rays from entering in the first place and thus reducing the need for expensive and eco-unfriendly air conditioning.

 

How to use your blind during the winter

In the winter, the blind should be opened during the day and closed at night. As a result, the room is warmed up by the sun's free energy (saving you money on heating). At sunset close the blinds and conserve the free harvested warmth before it hits the glass and leaves the home.

 

The Climate Control collection

A blind's thermal and optical performance comes from a combination of the design of the blind chosen and the composition of the fabric in relation to coatings and types of weaves.   By understanding the different properties of each type of blind fabric you can make an informed decision that will help you get the most out of your window coverings.

As part of our goal to help you understand your window blind options fully, we've created our Climate Control Collection.  We have done the hard work for you and have used our expertise to curate an easy-to-navigate collection of insulating blinds that help with temperature management and put you in a position to create a home that feels cosy and comforting all year round.  For every blind we have marked as “climate control” we have assessed the fabric for the level of protection it will give you from solar gain, heat loss and visual comfort (glare control).  We have compiled this information with manufacturers' information, BBSA training and ES-SO Smart Solar Shading accreditation.

These comprehensive summaries allow you to see, at a glance, how effective a specific blind will be when managing light and temperature in your home. Blinds that are ideal for temperature management will offer High Protection for solar gain and heat loss - a grade 4 for both. Once you find those you're in a much better position to create a home that feels cosy and comforting.

Our huge range of thermal blinds if used correctly will help you regulate the climate in your home.   During the summer you will be able to control the solar gain and in winter you can control heat loss and glare from the low winter sun.

 

Thermal Blind Types

There are several types of energy-saving blinds on the market the most common is the honeycomb blind, but what if you want a classic blind like a roller blind or vertical blind?  Does such a thing exist in a thermal fabric?  Course it does!  You don't need to sacrifice style over function?  Below we have listed all of the blind types that we consider thermal ie they control your indoor climate.

  • BlocOut Blinds

Thermal Roller Blinds 

Thermal Cordless roller blinds 

Electric thermal roller blinds 

Thermal Day and Night Blinds 

Thermal Vertical Blinds 

Thermal replacement blind slats 

Thermal Conservatory Blinds

Velux Thermal Blinds

Wooden blinds

Faux wood blinds

◦ Honeycomb blinds

 

BlocOut Blinds

The BlocOut™ Blackout Blind is an award-winning solution for creating darkness in your bedroom, ensuring high-quality sleep at any time and season.  It also has the added benefit of being thermal and is proven to save energy and create a comfortable and stable internal environment. BlocOut Blackout Blinds provide both thermal insulation and all-season climate regulation. In hot weather, its shiny white back reflects sun rays outside, keeping your house cool. In cold weather, the included thick thermal material cuts heat loss by up to 43%, allowing your heating system to work less and save you money while still keeping you warm.

Thermal Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are made up of multiple louvres that rotate in unison and glide to one side. Unlike roller blinds, these window dressings provide more accurate and precise management of light, temperature and privacy. They effectively eliminate glare and, when closed completely, will prevent a room from becoming too hot or too cold. Also available as thermal replacement vertical blind slats.

Blackout thermal vertical blinds - If you need to cover larger or longer windows, or need a solution for patio doors, you'll want to look at our blackout thermal vertical blinds. With made-to-measure vertical slats that rotate and glide to one side, they provide heightened control over light and glare. When closed, these blinds use the same thermal fabric as their roller blind counterparts. However, the gaps between each slat can cause heat and light to leak away BBSAlarger kitchens and conservatories.

Translucent thermal vertical blinds - Again, our translucent thermal vertical blinds use the same woven material as their roller blind counterparts. They have bespoke slats that rotate, giving you full and unadulterated control over light, privacy and temperature all at once.

Thermal Roller Blinds

If you're drawn to classic roller blinds but need an option that is safer for the entire family, choose our insulated roller blinds.  Available as standard roller blinds, cordless roller blinds and electric roller blinds and in blackout thermal,  thermal translucent and transparent thermal fabric to suit your needs.  For homes driven by technology, choose thermal motorised roller blinds.  These blinds are also compatible with most smart home systems and can be automated too - a cost-effective and practical way to ensure consistent temperature management in your home.  If you do automate your blinds using motors and sensors you ensure you are always maximizing your energy saving.

Blackout thermal roller blinds - Offering excellent window coverage, blackout thermal roller blinds are one of the most effective solutions. With their solid panel of fabric and multi-layer blackout fabric, they create the perfect physical barrier against heat loss and gain. Fit yours inside the recess and measure slightly wider than your window measurements. This will reduce the gaps around each edge, minimising opportunities for heat transfer and creating a more comfortable home. These blackout thermal blinds also darken your room significantly to create a calmer, more relaxing space to switch off. They are particularly popular in bedrooms and nurseries. And, if you want a less bulky solution, opt for a blackout thermal cordless roller blind or a blackout thermal motorised blind.

Translucent thermal roller blinds - Also known as solar reflective blinds, translucent thermal roller blinds are ideal for rooms where light and temperature need to be more balanced throughout the day. The woven fabric mutes excessive light, reducing glare significantly. With this, a pearlised backing works to reflect unwanted light and temperature from your windows. They are a popular choice for offices and television rooms and thermal bathroom blinds. When rolled down, these thermal blinds still allow you to work comfortably while maintaining a comfortable temperature and helping you to stay focused for longer.

 

For roller blinds and vertical blinds, there are 3 main thermal blind fabrics -

◦ Blackout thermal blinds (blocks the light- great for bedrooms)

◦ Translucent thermal blinds (let the light in great for living rooms)

◦ Transparent thermal (lets the view in-for bifold doors, windows not overlooked)

 

1. Thermal Blackout Blinds

Our thermal blackout blinds feature a white or silver metallic backing that repels the sun's oppressive heat and light. These thermal blinds keep your room dark and cool in the summer but lock the heat in during the winter so they are ideal bedroom blinds and nursery blinds. Our thermal window blinds are available in thermal vertical blinds, replacement vertical blind slats, roller blinds, cordless roller blinds, motorised roller blinds, bifold door blinds and Skylight blinds. If you need more control over light as well as temperature, choose thermal blackout roller blinds. With their traditional style, they're incredibly easy to use. The full coverage and the multi-layer fabric allow you to optimise light and temperature control - no matter the room. Each roll features an inner blackout layer which creates a physical barrier between your room and external light. On top of this, the pearlescent backing reflects unwanted light and thermal heat away from your windows. They are easy to use and available in a wide variety of styles and patterns to suit your home. Our thermal blackout blinds are made from polyester and come in a wide variety of colours and patterns. They are an ideal choice for bedrooms and nurseries, allowing you to darken a room significantly and creating a relaxing haven for everyone indoors.

 

2. Thermal Translucent Blinds

Our thermal translucent blinds feature a solar-reflective pearlescent backing which reflects a lot of the heat and glare of the sun out of the room during the summer. This solar reflective backing filters the light beautifully into your home but keeps the glare out and during the winter keeps the heat in. Ideal for living rooms and conservatories. Our solar reflective blinds are available in vertical blinds, replacement blind slats, roller blinds, cordless roller blinds, blinds for bifold doors and electric remote control blinds. Made from 100% polyester fabric, thermal translucent roller blinds allow you to manage temperature without blocking out all light. They have a woven design that allows a muted degree of light to pass through, providing usable light but eliminating annoyances such as glare. With a pearlescent backing, they also reflect unwanted heat away from your windows to prevent the internal temperature from rising too much. This same technology helps to lock the heat in during the colder months and reduce your dependency on central heating. An ideal choice in offices and television rooms.  If you need to filter light rather than eliminate it, and want to prioritise temperature control, you'll want to look at our thermal translucent blinds. These use a woven fabric which filters light to reduce its intensity. You can easily eliminate glare from device screens and create a softer-lit space that can be used throughout the day. These are perfect for offices, living rooms and dining rooms alike. All of our thermal blinds come with full installation instructions and are made-to-measure to fit your windows perfectly.

 

3. Thermal Transparent Blinds

Our thermal transparent blinds feature a 5% open weave which allows you to enjoy the views outside whilst also reflecting away the summer's harsh heat and light with a silver solar reflective backing.  This intelligent backing filters the light beautifully into your home but keeps the glare out. Ideal for living rooms and conservatories.

Nb most blinds give some protection from heat loss during the winter as they are a barrier between the warm air inside the home and the cold glass. The best blinds for heat gain during the summer are fabrics with a reflective backing which stop heat from coming into the room in the first place

 

We offer two kinds of thermal blinds - thermal blackout and thermal translucent. The first works by using a multi-layer fabric. The internal layer creates a physical barrier against light, helping to darken a room significantly and creating a relaxing haven inside. The latter has a pearlised backing that reflects unwanted light and thermal heat away from your windows. During the winter, this helps to lock heat indoors at the coldest parts of the day to reduce dependency on central heating. In summer, this physical barrier prevents thermal energy from passing into your home and reduces the dependency on cooling equipment, such as fans and air conditioning.

 

Are thermal blinds worth it?

In one word - yes. Thermal blinds are incredibly beneficial in all homes, whether you live in a new building or an older house. Research has shown that having the right window blind in your home will provide better insulation than insulated curtains. Research has shown that using a thermal window blind effectively can save you up to 25% off your household bills throughout the year! With 62% of UK energy consumption going towards space heating, it pays to find a solution that reduces your central heating bills and keeps your home comfortable for longer.

 

What are the best thermal blinds?

It's important to consider the window blind type you choose to help manage the temperature in your home. Most blinds will offer some degree of temperature management - solely because they are a physical barrier between your home and the window. This reduces the amount of thermal energy that can pass out, keeping your home perfectly balanced during the year.   Of course, you want only the best for your home. So you're likely wondering, what are the best thermal blinds on the market? The answer isn't black and white - it depends largely on the type of room you've styling and the exact ailments you're dealing with. You'll also want to take into account the direction of the window - southern-facing windows, for example, tend to be exposed to longer periods of direct sun exposure and need a more reliable thermal blind solution.

 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for the right blind:

Which room are you styling? Are you looking for a thermal blind for your bedroom or your office? If you're dressing a room where relaxation is key, you may want to consider a blackout thermal window blind, such as a thermal roller blind or vertical blind. This will make it easier to create the perfect sleeping arrangement. Equally, if you have an office that gets too cold or too hot, but one that needs to be used throughout the day, you'll want a thermal translucent blind solution. This will eliminate any glare on computer screens while giving you usable light throughout the day so you don’t need to have the lights on.  If you opted for a blackout blind you would have to have the lights on during the day which would increase energy usage and reduce the feeling of well-being that natural daylight can give you.

 

What direction are your windows facing?

As we mentioned above, south-facing windows have higher exposure to natural light and heat. This increases the risk of unwanted heat from passing through them, meaning you need a more reliable thermal blind for these rooms.

 

Fading furniture and glare

Maybe you've noticed premature fading on soft furnishings, such as rugs or the sofa. Perhaps you've been struggling to stay focused when working at home because you're constantly shifting the computer screen to eliminate glare. Or, maybe you simply notice that one room in the house feels more draughty than others. Knowing the issues you're facing will help to identify the right thermal blind.

 

Thermal blinds for Patio doors or French doors

Thermal vertical blinds are particularly popular for patio and french doors as they allow you to adjust the light and facilitate optimum privacy too due to the tilting action of the slats.

 

Thermal blinds or double-glazing - which is best?

When you're looking for the most effective way to manage temperature, you need to consider both thermal blinds and double-glazing. Sometimes, you'll be able to afford both and sometimes you won't. So, it pays to understand which is the most effective way to reduce draughts and keep your home more comfortable. When trying to find the best option, you'll need to consider the following factors:

 

Budget - Upgrading all of the windows in your home to double-glazing models can cost upwards of £2,000. This is a long-term investment - one that will continue to help you save money for many years to come. In contrast, our made-to-measure thermal blinds start as low as £36.44, depending on the size of your windows and your choice of configurations.

Disruption - Having all of the windows replaced in your home is likely to cause significant disruption. You'll want to plan this project during the spring or summer. Some people even move out of their homes into a hotel or live with friends while this large-scale project is ongoing. In contrast, choosing to have thermal blinds fitted takes minutes. We supply all of ours with full-fitting instructions that are easy to follow, regardless of your previous experience.

Level of investment - We mentioned above that installing double-glazed windows is a big financial investment. However, if you're renovating a property or looking to increase its value in the long run, new windows can help to boost house value. So, for long-term investments, they are the best choice. However, if you're renting or only looking to stay put for a few years, thermal blinds are a more viable and cost-effective solution.

 

Installing inside or outside of the recess

All of our thermal blinds are made-to-measure to fit your windows perfectly. When you place an order for your chosen thermal blinds, we will ask for the measurements. And, when taking these by following our guides, you'll notice two terms - inside the recess or outside the recess.

A window recess is a space between the glass of your window and the flat wall surface that the window is installed on. Inside the recess, blinds sit, as the name suggests, within this gap. They sit closer to the window and blend in smoothly along your walls. Blinds fitted outside of the recess are installed along the flat, top wall so that the blind layers over the entire recess. 

Deciding whether to install thermal blinds inside or outside of the recess is largely down to personal preference. Blinds fitted inside the recess are more aesthetically pleasing and give a more made to measuring look.  Fitting blinds outside of the recess will make a window look larger and will create a bigger air cushion behind the blind with fewer opportunities for the heat to escape the room in the winter or come into the room during the summer.

 

So the choice is essentially yours. Consider how much budget you have allocated to household repairs, what level of disruption is acceptable and whether you want to invest. Now that you know a load about thermal blinds and have decided they're the right ones for you, what are the next steps?  Measure, get price, order sample, order blind, fit blind, easy!

Example of Climate Control Summary

 

This video investigates the importance of using blinds to insulate your home and how this can save you money.

Seen a thermal blind you like? Why not order a free sample to compare the colour against your soft furnishings and accessories? Or, get in contact with our experienced team who will be able to help at every stage of your order.

 

 
 

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