Your choice of window coverings can affect your utility bill; this isn't new news. But many people don't realise just how effective even small changes in how they use window coverings can help conserve energy and make their home more comfortable. If you're not a fan of curtains and prefer to have blinds, you can still help keep your utility bill low with a minimum of effort. Blinds make it particularly easy to customise how much light, and thus how much heat, gets into your home.
Blocking or Letting in Direct Sunlight
One of the selling points of blinds is that you can keep them mostly closed while still letting in enough natural light that you won't need to turn on a lamp. This is from the ability to rotate the blinds so that they block bright, direct rays of light from coming in without casting the whole room in darkness. What you might not have known was that, by blocking just the direct light, you stop a lot of thermal transfer, especially in summer. That hot light heats up the air inside the home, so the more light you block, the more heat you block. In winter, you can open the blinds more to let more light, and thus a little more heat, into your home.
Full Closure Preserves Interior Temperatures
If closing the blinds prevents hot sunlight from heating up the interior of the home, it only follows that closing the blinds would also preserve the interior temperature. This is very important in winter when you want the inside of the home to be warmer and to keep the cold air outside. By closing the blinds all the way, you create an additional "wall" of sorts that stops the heat inside from transferring outside through the window glass. It won't be perfect, but in conserving energy and preserving temperatures, every bit helps.
Blind Thickness and Light Intrusion
Blinds come in different thicknesses that let different amounts of light through even when the blinds are fully closed. While you'll never eliminate all light by closing blinds — even with the best-fitting blinds, you'll get a glow from sunlight between slats and around the borders of the blinds — you can have more or less depending on your preference just by choosing a certain thickness of blinds. Thin, light-filtering blinds allow a lot of light to still come through when the blinds are rotated closed; room-darkening blinds, as you can guess from their name, exclude a lot more light because they are thicker and don't let light transfer through that easily.
Blinds come in different materials, so you'll want to check out samples in person if possible. Have your needs in mind when shopping; don't look for just a certain colour and size. You need to be clear on whether you want these blinds to help conserve energy because that will influence what you get.