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Thermal blinds are great for helping keep your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, but what is a thermal blind and how does it work?
Let’s start by clarifying what a ‘Thermal Blind’ is, for us, it’s a blind that is specifically designed to help either trap heat in your room, preventing it from escaping, or to help keep your home cooler in the winter by reflecting sunlight away from your window.
Good news is that our thermal blinds do both.
Bad news is that there are only a few options to choose from.
Do thermal blinds work?
By the very nature of putting another layer of something in your window between your room and the window pane, you’ll help to reduce the amount of heat lost through convection and also lost through conduction. Thermal blinds will help to keep heat in during the winter and help to keep your home cooler during the summer, but don’t expect them to replace or be as good as air-con.
Thermal blinds are only really suited to certain rooms too, sure, you can install them where you want, but we find that the majority are in bedrooms for the winter months. Nothing beats a nice cosy bedroom in the depths of winter. We have a couple of Thermal blind ranges, one is our Roman blinds with a thermal lining which is thicker fabric backing helping to trap heat in. We also have our cellular/honeycomb blinds for a conservatory window. These clip into the frame between the glass and rubber beading and their structure means they help to trap a layer of air helping to prevent heat loss. Their unique structure means that when raised up in the window they hide almost completely from view, and if you choose the blinds with the blackout option, you’ll be able to shade your room from the light and give yourself full privacy in your home. With the Roman blinds thermal lining, it’s not a blackout, but verging on it, so is still good for bedrooms but just to warn you it won’t block 100% of the light.
What are the Best thermal blinds?
This is a tricky one, as previously discussed we have 2 main types of ‘Thermal Blind’ 1 being the thermal lined Roman Blinds, and the 2nd being the Cellular (pleated) conservatory blinds. The cellular ones work best in conservatories and UPVC windows – so things like patio doors and French doors. But these wouldn’t look so good on your bedroom window. So instead we would opt for our Thermal lined Roman blinds as these will do a good job of helping to keep your room warm/cool, but will also look pretty snazzy in your window. We’re not saying don’t use cellular blinds in your bedroom, but more from an interior design point of view, Romans are better.
If you’re not a fan of either type then we would suggest a thicker blackout roller blind fabric that overlaps the entire window recess, helping to reduce draughts as much as possible, or choose curtains or shutters for a better coverage.
What are Cellular blinds? (sometimes called Honeycomb blinds)
This is the name given to blinds, generally conservatory pleated ones, that contain a honeycomb shape within them. This helps to create lots of little pockets of air, keeping convection to a minimum (like double glazing) and also help to reduce the amount of heat lost or gained through conduction.
These blinds can come in a few types, there is a dimout version that will help to let light into your room, but will also act as a thermal barrier. We also have a range with a reflective backing that helps to reduce heat gained through thermal radiation and reflect the sunlight away – ideal for hot summer days. These are perfect for a conservatory as they can help to extend the usability period of your conservatory further into the winter.
Are all blinds thermal?
We would say yes, but only in the context that by putting anything between your room and the window pane will help to create a barrier and help slow down heat loss in the winter. At the same time in the summer, anything white in the window will help to reflect sunlight away from the window, absorbing less heat and keeping your room slightly cooler.
But, not all blinds are equal in their thermal property. For example, our Voile roller blinds would frankly be pretty useless at trapping heat in because they are designed to let the light in during the day, whilst still offering privacy. But our Skylight blinds, whilst not thermal are a thicker material that is blackout and when closed will help to prevent heat loss through the glass.
Technical Disclaimer – When we talk about heat loss we use the term to relate to heat loss through conduction being reduced and by also helping to reduce draughts and therefore heat loss through convection in your home. When we talk about white backings to blinds reflecting/not absorbing heat this is a reduction in thermal radiation – Source, our GCSE in science.