The Importance of Window Coverings
The architecture of the house gives the house much of its character but it is made homely and hospitable by the furnishings and the décor elements you put in place. For a luxurious living experience, you need to have comfortable and delightful interiors. Window coverings play a crucial part in making the interiors look homely and heart-warming. Besides enhancing the aesthetics, window coverings also provide tangible benefits with regard to temperature control, light filtration, and privacy.
Bare windows don’t just look uninteresting but they also subdue the decorative appeal of the indoor furnishings. But that is not the only issue that arises when you leave the windows uncovered. Without coverage, the windows are unable to provide any light control capabilities. Barren windows are also very poor heat insulators and can lead to significant heat gain from outside during the summers. Similarly, during the winters, bare windows are unable to prevent heat loss from inside the house.
This makes it harder to maintain a constant temperature inside the house. One can argue that we can just keep the air-conditioner or the thermostat cranked up to compensate for any heat gain or heat loss. But doing this without preventing heat exchange from outside will mean that the air-conditioner and the thermostat will have to consume more power to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature inside the house. As a result, the energy efficiency of these appliances gets adversely affected and you end up incurring higher energy bills.
Window coverings help prevent all such issues. Not only do they improve the energy efficiency of the house but also provide you greater control over the amount of light you want to allow inside. They also protect the interiors from the glare and the UV exposure, thereby improving the overall visibility for media consumption and the shelf life of the furniture and drapery inside the house.
The Dilemma of Choosing the Ideal Set of Window Treatments
We live in a world where there is a multitude of perspectives with each individual having preferences of their own. It is only logical to have the same level of diversity in terms of the options you have for dressing up your windows so that you can adorn them as per your liking. With brands offering so many types of window treatments in all kinds of designs, color options, and price points you can possibly imagine, you surely get that diversity to work with.
This diversity is more than just a problem of plenty; it creates a perplexing dilemma. Investing in window treatments involves substantial cost outlay, hence, you would naturally want to get the best value for your money. You want to get the most suitable set of window coverings that fulfill your specific requirements. However, doing so gets tricky as it gets confusing due to so many different options with unique features and specialties. Being objective about your purchase decision is a logical way to get over that confusion. Depending on your requirements and priorities whether it is heat insulation, privacy, or light control, you can select the ones that fit the bill.
What are Blinds?
Blinds are perhaps one of the oldest and most popular window treatment options. While the horizontal blinds are the most common variants, blinds are also available in other orientations such as vertical. The familiar structure where blind slats are stacked above one another in case of horizontal blinds or are placed side by side in case of vertical blinds forms the typical appearance of blinds. You can operate them quite easily with the pull cord mechanism being the default operational mechanism. However, there are cordless and motorized options also available that further enhance the ease of operability.
The blinds are one of the most versatile window treatment options as they are compatible with any kind of décor. They provide good heat insulation and light control features besides visibly accentuating the decorative appeal of the windows. Available in a variety of material and price options, blinds are perfectly suited for all kinds of budgets.
What are Shutters?
While shutters follow a similar structural design as that of blinds, they are a more lot sturdier and durable. Shutters can easily outlast any other type of window treatments that you may have in your house. Usually made from natural wood, shutters are also available in alternate material choices such as faux wood and other synthetic material. Shutters have a similar structure as the blinds but have thicker and wider vanes that help keep the heat out. Shutters also provide excellent light control and privacy. Due to the resilient structure, the shutters are a great choice both as external and internal window coverings.
Shutters are also a bit pricier when compared to the blinds due to the better resilience and the nature of the material used. However, if you consider the longevity and the benefits offered by the shutters, they often prove to be a value proposition and much more cost-effective than they seem to be initially. Also known as plantation shutters, the shutters have a rich history that dates back to the days of big South American plantations.
Shutters or Blinds – Which is Better for Keeping Out the Heat?
While both the blinds and the shutters provide good heat insulation capability and help improve the energy efficiency of the interiors, shutters definitely edge ahead as they are comparatively more effective in blocking out the external heat. The slats on the shutters are wider and thicker, and they form a complete seal around the window opening. This helps in providing better coverage and heat insulation to the interiors. This also enhances the privacy performance of the shutters.
However, it is not as if the blinds don’t provide effective heat insulation. In most use case scenarios, even the blinds will be more than sufficient for your heat insulation needs. It is only when heat gain is a major issue for your house, that shutters come across as a better idea. Modern architectural elements such as large windows, sliding glass doors or modern patio doors, etc. have a larger surface area. As a result, the possibility of heat exchange increasing significantly. To prevent that, you need a window treatment solution that can not only provide excellent coverage to such large windows and doors but can also keep the heat out. Shutters fulfill all such requirements.
If heat gain and privacy are your major concerns, shutters can be an excellent choice for you. However, if you have a limited budget, you can also look at some of the blinds as well such as the wooden or faux wood blinds. These blinds also provide excellent heat insulation at a much lower cost. Even with shutters, you can opt for synthetic shutters if you find wooden shutters beyond your budget.
Both the blinds and the shutters are great options for keeping the heat out. So, the ultimate choice depends on how extensive your heat gain issue is. If it is the main factor in your purchasing decision, shutters will be preferable, otherwise, blinds are sufficient to fulfill your requirements.