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Honeycomb Window Shades: Are They Worth It?

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Leaky or poorly sealed windows allow heat - and your money - to slip right through the cracks. As the weather outside gets frosty, how can you keep the warmth in and the cold air out? Honeycomb window shades (also known as cellular shades), could be the answer.

Understanding the Benefits of Honeycomb Shades

Energy-saving honeycomb shades owe their name to their peculiar shape. The shades are made of multiple cells that trap cold air, insulating the room from heat loss in the winter (and heat gain in the summer). They can help your company minimize draftiness and reduce its heating bill, providing a smart investment that will more than pay for itself over time.

The benefits are significant. Honeycomb shades can block heat about as well as a 1/8 inch sheet of insulated foam. Their R-value (or, their ability to insulate against heat flow) ranges between 2 and 5. In comparison, a typical double pane window has an R-value of 1.8.

Energy efficiency is the biggest advantage of this window treatment, but honeycomb shades can offer more benefits to your business. For example, honeycomb shades allow you to control natural light, which can help against glare on computer monitors or other screens. And, they add a level of privacy when handling sensitive materials or data.

At the same time, their opaqueness can cause some businesses to shy away from this option. Translucent shades can provide similar benefits but with diffused rather than eliminated light.

How Can You Find the Right Shades For Your Business?

As with most window treatment options, honeycomb shades come in various styles and qualities. There are four key variables to consider when choosing the best option for your business:

  • Single or Dual Cell: Cellular shades can have different R-values depending on how the cells are arranged. For instance, a single cell shade that filters but does not black out light will be significantly less energy efficient than black-out shades with double cells.
  • Cell Size: Small honeycomb cells work especially well for smaller windows. However, for large office or warehouse windows, bigger cells tend to be the better choice due to their lighter weight and higher R-value.
  • Quality of Materials: Honeycomb cells can be made of fabric or plastic. While plastic varieties are usually less expensive, they may also be less durable than a fabric version.

Together, these variables can determine exactly what type of honeycomb shades make the most sense for your business. Naturally, smaller, single cell plastic options are the least expensive. However, the additional energy savings and durability of large dual cell fabric alternatives might provide a higher ROI in the long term.

Caring For Cellular Shades After Installation

Whatever option you choose, proper maintenance is vital. Whether you choose fabric of plastic, honeycomb shades should be cleaned regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

Dirt and dust can slowly discolor your window treatments. That, in turn, can compromise their light-controlling abilities. Wipe soiled or stained areas in the same direction as the pleats to keep them looking crisp. Warm water and a mild detergent will usually do the trick on stains, especially after dusting off some of the surface dirt.

Other Window Treatment Options

Honeycomb shades not for you? The U.S. Department of Energy has combined a list of energy-efficient window treatments that can help your business save on its heating bill:

  • Window awnings and roof overhangs: In the summer, awnings can help westward facing windows reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent. However, in the winter, their positive effects are minimized.
  • Interior and exterior blinds: This option allows for more controlled light and ventilation, but the openings between slats could still allow some heat loss.
  • Draperies: When choosing the right product, draperies can reduce heat loss by up to 10 percent. However, they're used more frequently in homes than in commercial spaces.
  • Shutters: Shutters are the most effective at locking in heat when closed. However, they also prevent any natural light from entering the office.

Keep up with all of the energy trends and changes that were brought about in 2017. Download our full report now.

2017  Year in Review

Posted: December 21, 2017