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Energy efficiency
22 April 2014
Energy efficiency

A Kiwi solution

As two narrow strips of land set in the South Pacific, New Zealand's climate is governed by what the oceans throw at us. From Kaitaia to Bluff, all homes and businesses have to contend with extremes of temperature and weather. It's therefore important for our homes to be properly kitted out, not only to withstand all that nature throws at us, but also to ensure we're not spending too much on heating and cooling where we live and work.

How to save money with blinds

According to the Government's Energywise website, well-fitted blinds can reduce heat loss through single-glazed windows by up to 60% and through double-glazed windows by 40-50%. They do this by trapping the cold air between the window and the blind and preventing the warm air from getting behind the blind.

The way you use your blinds can also help save you cash. Leaving your blinds open during the day lets your home heat up and then closing them just before the sun goes down means you'll trap some of that heat for the night. A good tip to help cool your home in the summer is to close your blinds on the side facing the sun and leave your windows open.

It's important to make sure blinds are properly fitted (see our measuring guide and video here, or our installation deal with Hire-A-Hubby here) to make the most of their efficiency savings. Rollerblinds are the more efficient of the two styles but should be mounted as near the glass and as snug to the wall as possible.

How energy efficient are my blinds?

Blackout and designer roller blinds: The thermal Palm Beach style offers the same energy efficiency as thermal drapes but all blackout blinds offer homes and businesses the ability to control the amount of heat and light in a room. Maximum efficiency comes from installing dual blinds with a white reflective side facing the warmer side and a dark absorbing side facing the cooler side - hence white would face outwards during summer and inwards in winter.

Sunscreen roller blinds: By controlling the amount of sunlight you allow into a room, you can control the temperature and help trap heat during the day which will keep your home warm at night.

Venetian blinds: Because of the gaps between the slats, venetian blinds are better at ensuring heat regulation during summer rather than heat loss during colder months - although when totally closed and lowered on a sun-drenched window, that saving can still equal a 45% reduction in heat gain. Because venetians are so adaptable, they are ideal for allowing ventilation as well as heat control. A good tip is to adjust them to reflect sunlight on to light-coloured ceilings to help diffuse the sunlight without gaining heat or glare.

Vertical blinds: Tall windows and ranch-sliders can be the main culprits when it comes to losing heat or letting in harsh sunlight, but because they are used so often curtains or rollerblinds aren't a suitable option. Vertical blinds give you insulation during colder months while also allowing you the flexibililty to let heat when the sun shines. Their 180-degree swivel also allows you maximum adaptability when it comes to cooling your room during summer months.