Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks

Which Blinds Are The Most Energy Efficient?

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve home energy efficiency is to upgrade your current window treatments. Heat always travels from warm areas to cool areas along the path of least resistance – in this case your windows.

Goodbye summer and hello fall. ‘Tis the season of pumpkin spice lattes, hoodies, and bonfires. Before you know it, Halloween will be here, which means winter isn’t far behind. It is important to start thinking about every homeowner’s favorite topic – Energy Efficiency. And no discussion of energy efficiency is complete without first looking at your windows, which, according to the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, “lose more heat per square foot of area in winter and gain more heat in summer than any other surface in the home.” So, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that windows account for 25-40% of our annual heating and cooling costs. Yikes!

"Some carefully selected window treatments can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer."
— U.S. Department of Energy

One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve home energy efficiency is to upgrade your current window treatments. Heat always travels from warm areas to cool areas along the path of least resistance – in this case your windows. While the average exterior wall has an R-Value (a measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow) of 13.1, the average window has an R-Value of just 1.16, according to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Which window treatments are the most energy efficient?

  1. Honeycomb Shades: Also known as Cellular Shades, these versatile shades provide style and energy efficiency.
  2. Solar Shades: A life saver in the summer, these shades help to absorb heat and reduce glare from sunlight.

Honeycomb Shades: Energy Efficiency Meets Style

“Interior shades can make rooms more comfortable,” says Peter Yost, Director of Residential Services at Green Building Advisor. “They have been shown to boost thermal comfort (raise the mean radiant temperature) by as much as 5°F.”

Our Honeycomb Shades not only look great, but “act as insulation, protecting your home from cold and heat with their energy-saving honeycomb design,” says interior designer Lisa Scheff. How do they accomplish this? Science, of course! Each honeycomb, or cell, produces insulating pockets of inert air, a poor conductor of heat, which increases a window’s R-Value anywhere from 3.45 and 5.00 and slows heat transfer by as much as 55-65%.

"If you’d like to combine privacy and energy efficiency, Honeycomb Shades are a good choice."
— Alyson McNutt English, HouseLogic

However, even the best jacket is only so effective if it doesn’t fit properly, which is why custom window treatments are so important when it comes to energy efficiency. Any gaps between the window treatment and the casing provides an escape for heated air. The better the fit, the better the energy efficiency. Our window treatments are never cut to size from pre-assembled stock shades. All Next Day Blinds’ Honeycomb Shades are custom fabricated to each window’s specifications, and all of our fabrics are extensively tested to ensure top performance for durability, ultra-violet protection, energy efficiency, and conformity to rigid specifications for consistency and trueness of glue lines and cell configurations. “You get a custom-built product, made locally, and custom-tailored to your windows,” says Frank Sisto, Next Day Blinds Vice President of Operations.


Solar Shades: Beat the Heat and Enjoy the View

While they don’t offer the same insulation that Honeycomb Shades do, Solar Shades are fantastic at blocking sunlight, reducing glare and hear, while still allowing you to see outside.

In the summer, with the sun beating down on your home, the ability to reflect heat is important in keeping your home cool. “Solar Shades are the best invention,” says interior designer Shannon Kirby. “[They are] perfect for daytime to let the light in but keep the heat and harmful rays out.” Solar Roller Shades block up to 90-99% of harmful UV rays. The key is the fabric opacity or Openness Factor. These window treatments are “available in varying degrees of ‘open-ness,’” explains interior designer Mike Strutt. “The more open they are, the more light they let in, and the more you can see through (both in and out).”


Founded in 1993, Next Day Blinds is a fully integrated, full-service custom window covering company located in Jessup, MD, just 25 miles from Washington, DC, and 15 miles from Baltimore, MD. From sales and design to manufacturing, measuring, installation, and service, we do it all. Our goal is to help you create a better tomorrow by providing a superior result--blinds, shades and shutters that look nicer, last longer, and are there when you want them.