How to Choose the Right Insulating Blinds for a Period Home?

April 18, 2024

Choosing the right window treatments for your period home can be a daunting task. You want to preserve the charm and character of your home, while also making it more energy-efficient. One way to do this is by using insulating blinds. Not only will these window coverings help you save on energy costs, but they also offer a degree of style and elegance that will enhance the overall aesthetics of your home. This guide will provide you with essential information to help you choose the right insulating blinds for your period home.

The Benefits of Insulating Blinds

Before diving into the selection process, it’s crucial to understand why insulating blinds are a worthwhile investment for your home. Essentially, these window treatments play a significant role in maintaining a comfortable room temperature by minimizing the amount of heat or air that escapes through your windows.

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Insulating blinds work by reflecting heat back into the room during winter and deflecting the sun’s heat away in summer. This dual action can help reduce your energy consumption by keeping your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Moreover, insulating blinds can also reduce noise pollution. This is particularly beneficial if you live in a busy area, as they can provide a barrier against external noise, contributing to a calmer, more peaceful home environment.

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Material Matters: Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to insulating blinds, the fabric plays a key role in their efficiency. The right material can significantly influence the blinds’ ability to retain heat in winter and deflect it in summer.

Consider blinds with a high R-value, which indicates the material’s insulating properties. For example, blinds made from cellular shades boast a high R-value, making them an excellent choice for energy efficiency. Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, have air pockets that trap air, creating a barrier between the window and the room.

Similarly, roller blinds made from thick fabrics or those with a reflective backing can also provide good insulation. They offer a sleek and modern look, making them a suitable choice for period homes with contemporary interiors.

Styling with Wood and Shutters

For period homes, style and character are often as important as functionality. If you’re looking to maintain the historical integrity of your home, consider insulating window treatments like wood blinds or shutters.

Wood blinds, especially those made from hardwood, provide excellent insulation. Their natural wood grain texture lends a warm, rustic charm to any room and can complement the vintage style of a period home wonderfully.

On the other hand, shutters, particularly those made from vinyl or wood, add a classic and timeless appeal to your windows. While they might be on the costlier side, their insulating properties, combined with their aesthetic appeal, make them a worthy consideration.

Light Control and Privacy

Insulating blinds can also offer varying levels of light control and privacy, which is crucial to consider. Think about the purpose of each room and how much light or privacy you will need. For instance, blackout shades could be a good fit for bedrooms, providing maximum light blockage and privacy.

In living areas, opt for blinds or shades that offer a balance between light control and insulation. Cellular shades, for example, come in a variety of light-filtering options. They allow natural light to filter into the room while still providing insulation and privacy.

Measure Twice, Order Once

Finally, accurate measurement is key when ordering insulating blinds. Incorrect measurements can lead to ill-fitting blinds that fail to insulate effectively. Measure the width and length of your window accurately, taking into account any quirks or irregularities that period windows often have. If in doubt, consult with a professional to ensure your blinds fit perfectly.

Choosing the right insulating blinds for your period home is about balancing energy efficiency, style, and functionality. With the right knowledge, you can select window treatments that not only help reduce your energy bills but also enhance the charm and beauty of your historical home. Remember, the right blinds or shades not only insulate your home but also contribute significantly to its overall aesthetic appeal.

The Best Brands for Insulating Blinds

After understanding the benefits and key considerations in choosing insulating blinds, the next step is to explore some of the best brands available in the market. These brands offer a wide range of window treatments that combine style, energy efficiency, and functionality.

Hunter Douglas is a renowned name in the window covering industry. Their highly insulating Duette® Honeycomb Shades are engineered with energy-efficient, honeycomb-designed cells that trap air in distinct pockets, creating an extra layer of insulation at the window.

Bali Blinds offers a collection of energy efficient cellular shades with a range of light control options from sheer to blackout. Their DiamondCell® Light Filtering Cellular Shades are exceptionally energy-efficient. They are designed to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby reducing heat loss and gain.

Levolor is another trusted brand known for their custom and quality window blinds. They offer a range of blinds and shades, including cellular shades and roller shades. The Levolor® Custom Cellular Shades are highly regarded for their energy efficiency and their ability to offer varying levels of light control and privacy.

Remember to choose a brand and product that best suits your taste, room requirements, and bay windows if any in your period home. While high-quality brands might be pricier, they offer superior insulation, style, and durability that can save you money in the long run on energy bills and replacement costs.

Installation and Maintenance

Once you’ve chosen the right insulating blinds or shades, proper installation and maintenance are crucial to ensure they function optimally and last long.

For installation, it’s best to hire a professional to avoid any mistakes. Incorrect installation not only detracts from the look of the blinds but can also affect their insulating capabilities. A professional will ensure that the blinds are correctly fitted to your windows, taking into account any unique aspects or irregularities of your period home windows.

In terms of maintenance, dusting your blinds regularly with a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment will help keep them looking fresh and new. For deeper cleaning, most blinds and shades can be lightly vacuumed or wiped with a damp cloth. However, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s instructions.

For faux wood or wood blinds, avoid using water or liquid cleaners as they can warp or discolor the blinds. Instead, use a dry, soft cloth or a vacuum with a brush attachment.

Solar shades and cellular shades can often be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge. For stubborn stains, a mild detergent can be used. Always remember to dry the shades thoroughly after cleaning to prevent mildew.


Choosing the right insulating blinds for your period home is a balance between maintaining the vintage charm, enhancing energy efficiency, and ensuring functionality. While the task might seem daunting, taking the time to understand the benefits, key considerations, and options available in the market will make the process a lot easier. So, whether you prefer the natural elegance of wood blinds, the modern appeal of roller blinds, or the superior insulation of cellular shades, be sure to make an informed decision. With the right window treatments, you can not only reduce your energy bills but also significantly enhance the beauty and comfort of your period home.