With a continually greater need for sun control in homes, businesses, and commercial buildings, some types of materials have taken the forefront in efficiency and builder preference. There are many different materials to choose from for window treatments and coverings, and each type provides a different level of thermal efficiency and different design elements.
Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb blinds, were first introduced in the 1980s, but didn’t really become a popular window treatment option until the 90s. The main concept behind them was to create a blind that could be stylish, but most importantly thermally efficient. The unique design of cellular shades traps warm air on the interior of a space during the winter, and also can provide a reflective surface to control any additional heat gain.
Think about how a cellular shade is created. It has two exterior panels and the interior space is full of a variety of pockets. Sometimes it’s just a single set of honeycomb shapes running down the space between the panel, others there can be multiple levels of interior spaces depending on your needs. Here at Window Products Management (WPM), we can help you figure out the perfect product for your needs, whether you need cellular shades for an office space or you need them for residential appartments. Consider some of these important factors about cellular shades that will affect which products we will recommend for your solutions.
With cellular shades, the pockets in between the exterior panels hold in air. This air is able to be circulated in these spaces, creating a self contained convection system. The benefit of this is that it creates a barrier between interior spaces and the window. This means that it traps heat during the winter in the interior spaces, and helps keep excess heat out during the summer months. The simplest way to view convection with cellular shades is that if prevents air flow and heat transfer between the room and the window.
Think about a window that is facing the sun. This window may only have a single layer of fabric to help provide sun control. Conduction can be felt when you place your hand on the fabric or the window trim and feel heat. Conduction is the direct transfer of heat from one object to another. Cellular shades help stop this process through the empty pockets of air inside the shades. This air disrupts the transfer of energy from one surface to another, creating a temperature differential between the two sides.
Whenever you look at thermally efficient window treatments, or even insulation, you will see a value known as the R-value. This number indicates how effective a material is against heat flow, and also how effective it is in resisting heat gain or loss. Different factors will dictate cellular shades’ R-value including the number of cell layers, whether or not they’re blackout shades, if they have tracks, and the number of panes a window has. The higher the R-Value, the more thermally efficient a product is.
Let Window Products Management help you with all your commercial window treatment needs, and also let us provide you with solutions that will improve the thermal efficiency of your building! Contact us for more information.