Insulated Window Shades

Insulated window shades were especially popular in the late '70s and early '80s during that energy crisis. There are numerous approaches to insulated window shades, and with improved technology the various options are even better now than then. Combine insulated window shades with other window coverings to create the perfect window treatment for your home or office.

Saving energy can be a beautiful thing with lined and insulated window shades. Rooms stay warm in winter and cool in summer when windows are insulated. Insulated window shades come in every imaginable texture, pattern, and color to meet your decorating needs.

The lightest form of insulated window shades is a simple lined shade. A single layer of fabric might let cold spill right into a room, a lining of cotton flannel fabric can slow cold creep considerably. The two layers of fabric form a pocket of "dead" air that transmits heat only slowly. A cotton-lined window shade still allows some light to filter through even as it helps to trap heat on either side of the shade.

A step up from the cotton flannel liner is the metallized fabric liner used on some insulated window shades. This is a thin layer of metal -– usually aluminum or mylar -– deposited on cloth liner fabric. The result is an opaque liner that actually reflects light and heat while still providing the pocket of dead air that helps make barrier to heat transfer.

Quilted insulated window shades are about one-quarter of an inch thick and made much like a bed quilt. They consist of a layer of fiber batting sandwiched between two outer layers of cloth. The quilting helps prevent the fiber batting from shifting around while in use. Quilter insulated window shades are often constructed of five layers – three of cloth and two of fiber batting. Quilted insulated window shades are generally installed in special tracks that form a seal all the way around the shade when it is fully closed. This seal helps provide the ultimate in thermal insulation value.

Insulated window shades also help block out traffic noise. In home with many windows, insulated window shades are a great help in controlling energy costs. and they look beautiful with any décor.

Insulated window shades can be used with existing draperies. A quilted insulated window shade looks especially impressive behind velvet or satin drapes.

It is not uncommon to make insulated window shades in the Roman shade style. A Roman shade has a series of ribs running horizontally across it. Drawstrings run up the back of the Roman shade through loops or eyelets attached to the ribs. The drawstrings are fastened to the bottom rib of the Roman shade. When the drawstrings are drawn up, the Roman shade folds along the lines of the ribs. This forms a neat package when the shade is closed. The Roman shade style is well suited to bulky materials like lined insulated shades or quilted fabric, which would not roll up well on a spring-loaded axle.

Sometimes having magnets on the edges, or having the shades run in tracks, helps improve the insulation quality of the shades even more. By keeping heated air from hitting your cold window you also keep the windows from sweating which can cause problems with the window frame. Keeping the indoor air insulated from the window panes also makes for a more efficient climate control effort.

Insulated window shades shut out heat, light, and sound wherever desired in a wide variety of styles, colors, and mounting mechanisms to meet any room's needs. As you walk around your house, hold out your hand to feel for drafts or hot spots near windows. You are very likely to find new places for insulated window shades.