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A Guide For Selecting Window Shades And Blinds


A house or any building for that matter without windows would look very odd. And windows without any window dressing look bare and unfurnished. Window shades and blinds are two of the most common window dressing options. Each has its own features, functions and advantages.

The sun sometimes comes out with a vengeance bringing with it sweltering heat and blinding glare. Even when it is not summer, the sun be damaging. It can reach the soft furnishings in a room and fade them and it can dry out house plants. There is also a rise in utility bills because air conditioners have to be kept on. Window shades are most useful in combating all these negative effects.

They act as a blockade to the heat so that it never reaches a window which keeps it out of a room. A shade is a simple, even panel of fabric. They are available in myriad of patterns and colors so they are functional as well as protective. As they are attached to a roller, they do not interfere with how a house looks either.

There is a choice of weaves ranging from narrow to wide which offer differing levels of protection in terms of how much light can pass through. Shades keep out 50 to 80 percent of sun heat and glare. This is while maintaining visibility so that it is still possible to clearly see the outside.

Shades are particularly effective in rooms that face the sun directly. In such rooms, the best ones to put up are those made with a dark colored fabric. It will capture more heat making a room cooler and darker. The weave of the screen should also be taken into account.

Fabrics that have broad weaves had more space in between them and they offer less shading. They are described as having a low shade factor. www.overstock.com, blinds.com and americanblinds.com are some online shops that are very well stocked with such shades.

Another factor to keep in mind is that shields of different shade factors are more suited to different rooms. For instance, the living room is the most frequently used room in the house so it should be kept as cool as possible.

It also has a view so shades have a medium weave would be right. The kitchen is also frequently used but it should have as much light as possible. A shade with a low shade factor would be ideal. In the bedroom, light should be blocked out as much as possible especially in summer months when the sun is out at night.

Shades have the limitation of allowing the room to be viewed from outside at night. This can easily be countered in one of two ways. One option is to go for a roller shade that also filters light. The other way to go is to combine the shade with additional window dressing. It can be used with drapes with the sun being rolled out of the way at night and the drapes being drawn. A wide selection can be browsed at www.theshadesstore.com, www.bobtheblindguy.com and www.bestwindowtreatments.com.

Sun shades are an improved version of standard roller shades. The latter did not allow views of the outside including the ones that were to keep out a low amount of heat. In addition to allow outside glimpses, shades come in a variety of weave sizes which means a little or almost all the heat can be blocked out. Another touch of modernism is that they are automatic exterior sun shades. It takes the touch of a button to adjust, open or shut them. They can be controlled jointly or individually. The above online shops have selections of such shades.

An alternative to shades is blinds. They are attractive as well and they also lower energy costs. In cooling a room, they reduce the use of air conditioning systems and fans. There are those that darken a room and absorb heat in the fabric and there are those that filter lights to keep away UV rays.

There are several different kinds of sun screens for standard windows. When it comes to skylights or roof windows though, it can be a challenge to find them and to find them in the correct size. They hang differently from the way sun shields for other windows hang. They stay in place with the help of side rails or tension.

With upright windows, the sun shades are placed on the outer side of the window frame. These windows are opened towards the outside and they do not get in the way of the sun shades. It is different with skylights that usually have centered hinges. Such blinds therefore need to be installed in such a way that they are on the inner side of the sash if they are to be opened without difficulty.

There are different kinds of shades for the different kinds of windows. Blackout blinds are the most common type. They are a favorite because they block out sunlight completely and also cut out the heat of the sun and noise coming from outside. These come packaged in form of a cartridge and they have side rails made of aluminum that can be adjusted. It is best to avoid plastic railed ones as these tend to loosen and start to fade because the heat of the sun and are best avoided. A selection of these can be viewed at www.homeenvy.com, www.blindschalet.com and www.velux.com.

There are also screens made using pleated fabric which is attached onto twine or cord. Pleated blinds are not a popular option because the fabric used to make them does not adequately block light, heat or noise.

A more popular option is roller blinds. They are a more efficient buffer and they are price friendly. They are made simply around a loaded container and it is the tension in it that keeps them in place at the window. Clips or side pieces are used to maintain them in the right place.

A fourth alternative is venetian blinds. They are placed along the length of twine which makes it possible to open and close them. The ones with aluminum planks are a better choice than those with plastic ones which cannot endure the sun. There are those that have a pole affixed on the edge that is for making adjustments to the slats. These do not look very attractive though. There are selections of these on www.venetianblindszone.com and www.usablindsdirect.com.

Awning blinds are another prevalent type. They ensure that the sun does not reach the window. Rain is also kept away. They are usually made using dark netting that makes them efficient. They keep a room dark and keep interior temperatures low while also blocking UV rays which fade soft furnishings such as sofa upholstery.

Those with skylights or roof windows should know that blinds for skylights are not as easy to find as those of standard windows. They can however be found with ease on the net. They come in an array of colors but dark colors are a favorite. They are available from www.zebrablinds.com, www.bizrate.com and www.velusa.com


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