By: Erica

Energy efficiency is not the first term that comes to mind when people think of window blinds. It should be—or if not the first, certainly at the top of the pros list. High quality 1” wood blinds can effectively cut heating and cooling costs where they are installed. In addition to being more stylish than the standard metal mini blinds, one inch wooden blinds provide better insulation to keep climate-controlled air from pouring out the windows. They close tightly to prevent sunlight from penetrating window bays and, just like metal, they open compactly to the top of a window for cool spring and fall days when windows are opened and fresh air is desirable.

Blinds made from wood are also more durable and longer lasting than the common aluminum versions that come stock in most homes and apartments. While it seems it should work to the contrary, since wood is generally easier to break, because the slats in aluminum blinds are so thin they are susceptible to kinks that lead to breaks. The added thickness of wood slats provides more resistance against breakage. Pet owners will attest to the lack of durability in metal blinds after seeing a cat ruin numerous slats as it bats at a window to catch a buzzing fly. The thickness and lower density of wood is also what gives it its superior insulating qualities.

Wood is a less efficient conductor of heat than metals. For this reason the air in a room with a closed blind continues to circulate without absorbing into the wood. The air that does warm the wood stays trapped in its pores creating a secondary barrier to heated or cooled air. By contrast, aluminum slats are an efficient conductor and tend to absorb and transmit the air with which they come into contact. That means the cool air coming through the windows is absorbed by the metal during the winter as well as the warm air that the indoor heater is producing resulting in greater thermal heat loss (and vise-a-versa in the summer).

Both metal and wooden mini blinds can be ordered in a variety of shades to suit a room’s needs. However, with wood, the aesthetic appeal means that windows do not need to have curtain rods to look fashionable. In fact, many owners of wooden blinds gladly leave their window bays without curtains to display the natural beauty of the blind’s design. Metal blinds without curtains tend to make a window bay look naked and so they are commonly covered. Moreover, wooden slats are better light repellents and so do not need the added dampening of a curtain.
The initial investments for people who purchase wood instead of metal is almost two times greater, but future savings make wood the best choice over the long-term. Not only will buyers save money on their energy bills by making the switch, but they will also save on installing curtains. Considering the cost of curtains and the few dollars of climate control lost with metal slats, in less than six months, wood slats make up the cost difference and become a cheaper, more durable and more stylish investment.