The tin-foil-window-trick - Fresh Design Blinds & Window Coverings Vancouver

The tinfoil trick is a timeless classic!

“One of my favourite sights to see.”

I can’t help it but when I drive by a house and notice this I always slow down and point yelling, “Look they taped tinfoil to their living room window!” I’m excited to see that people are trying to fight solar heat gain by using the same material that they wrap their potatoes in before throwing them on the BBQ. I’m also thinking of how cozy this must feel from the inside of the house, it’s probably similar to living in a space ship and who doesn’t love star trek?

While tinfoil is a fantastic option I do have a few other solutions. At work, I love to pull out my lab coat and walk my clients through my exciting version of Energy Efficiency Window Treatments 101. Once I start in with the R-values, U-factors, SHGC ratings I’m usually the only one awake in the room so I’ve learned to keep it simple.

1. Heat is attracted to cold; that’s why in the summer the sun shines through your windows turning your house into a greenhouse.

2. In the winter it’s the opposite the window glass creates heat loss because it’s bringing the chill inside.

There are two good solutions:

1. Insulation: Similar to the pink itchy fiberglass in your walls that keep the heat in or out there are blinds that are constructed to create a barrier that either traps the heat or cold. In blind terms, we call it a honeycomb or cellular shaped blind and the more layers the better.

2. Daylighting: Several window treatments diffuse light reducing the glare and improving the intensity of the light. A lot of these window coverings are sheer enough to allow you to enjoy your view through them even when they are lowered.

Fresh Design Blinds, Window Coverings and Drapery Vancouver BC Store
Blinds Light shading and diffusing - Vancouver BC Store

Back to the tinfoil… all blinds have been scientifically rated on a scale and believe it or not the blind that tops the chart has tinfoil in it! Well, maybe not Reynold’s aluminum wrap we actually call the material ‘Mylar’ but essentially it’s a foil-like material that sits inside some honeycomb blinds. These blinds rate the highest and can stop 50% of the heat or cold however they also cut all of the light in a room, perfect for your media room but I’m not sure if that’s the right effect for hosting an afternoon tea in the kitchen. This is where the tinfoil theory gets interesting. The same honeycomb blind without the tinfoil lining will bring in loads of light and stop 45% of the heat and cold. So the tinfoil that cuts the light is really only 5% of the equation. The true solution is in the shape of the blind.

In the end, save the tinfoil for the BBQ and embrace the science behind great window coverings that not only fulfill function but add some great style to your home. And if your missing the star trek ambiance you can always upgrade your blinds to power. Press the button on your Platinum remote and it’s Beam me up, Scotty. It finally stopped raining in Vancouver. Everyday with sunshine is a celebration. The dark clouds have finally been lifted and everyone seems to have an extra bounce in their step.

I also notice a totally different client calling. This client is suffering in their house because the sunshine has brought the heat barrelling in their windows full blast. They want solutions that will soothe them from the summer heat without turning their home into a black hole. Of course, I have solutions for them. I carry honeycomb blinds that will stop 50% of the heat from coming in. However stop right there………google how many days of sunshine does the west coast get? Year around its less than 25% and the other 75% of the time we are engulfed by low grey skies.

So do honeycomb blinds make sense in the region that we live in? Personally, I want a blind that brings in the most light for the 75% of the year that its grey. I also want a blind that I can see through so that I can enjoy the beautiful greenbelt that I live on. I also have neighbours so I wanted a blind that gave me a little bit of privacy. That being said I have different needs than others. Each and every home has different things to consider. Do you have a view of the ocean? Do you have nosy neighbours? Do you live on a top floor apartment? Do you have a South facing window?

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So when I mix all of those needs with the weather that we deal with each year and I still do find some clients who will benefit from honeycomb blinds. However, my advice to everyone is to consider the weather year around and choose window coverings that make the most sense year around and also buy a second place in Phoenix.

Want to learn more about shading and light diffusion options for your new blinds as well as the benefits for your home?  Call 778.552.1990 or come visit our Vancouver showroom.