Do insulated vinyl blinds work?

Back in November, I bought a bunch of insulated vinyl blinds on sale. Installing them took about a week–I had to replace all the hardware, which involves drilling, so I had to be careful what I did and when so as to not wake the kids–but they’ve all been up almost a month now, and it didn’t take long for them to leave an impression. I know you’re asking, “Do insulated vinyl blinds work?” I have to say yes.

They do make a difference in how the air feels near the window, assuming you didn’t have blinds in the window before, or you replaced something like the old aluminum mini-blinds I had in some windows. The newer or better your windows are, the smaller the difference will be. I need new windows and I know it, but these blinds cost a lot less than new windows. In the meantime, the blinds keep the house more comfortable while I save for modern, efficient windows.

I can’t say I notice a huge difference, but in theory an insulated vinyl blind should help cut down on noise at night as well. The more materials sound has to pass through, the more it deadens along the way. Thick curtains and an insulated blind give three additional materials to pass through.

They solve one more problem for me. My heating/cooling registers are, unfortunately, almost all right by windows. So my conditioned air goes straight up, and some of it right behind my insulated curtains. I use deflectors to counter that and direct the air into the room, but with two young boys, those deflectors have a habit of disappearing. They also break a lot. Having the insulated blinds helps me condition the house more than the windows.

The aluminum mini-blinds I had probably dated to the 1980s at least, and they were wearing out. They also weren’t energy efficient at all. They’d block light just fine, but did absolutely nothing to keep my family on the right side of the heat. And on top of that, they were dated. I don’t know if 2-inch blinds will necessarily stay in style, but they’re traditional. When I go to an estate sale in a large older house, 2-inch blinds are what I see. I don’t worry about trends much, but these blinds look noticeably better than what they replaced.

And if I were trying to sell or rent out a house, I’d consider installing 2-inch blinds in it as a relatively easy and inexpensive upgrade that makes a good first impression. A prospective renter chastised me after looking at our rental house back in September, saying I was asking too much for the house when there were other houses in the area for the same price “with better updates.” When I looked at the other houses available at the time, the only thing I saw that any house had that I didn’t was 2-inch blinds. I have someone in the house now, but when it goes on the market again, I think I’ll do that.

So they increase the perceived value of a house, and they’re a quality of life improvement, in addition to saving energy, which saves money. The less you spend on energy, the more you have to spend on the other things you need.

2 thoughts on “Do insulated vinyl blinds work?

  • January 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm
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    FYI, heat registers are supposed to be next to/under the windows because the windows are always going to be the coldest point of the room. Here in Toronto, it’s actually part of the building code.

  • January 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm
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    We put double pane replacement windows in in our 1960 house more than 20 years ago, they not only helped with heating/cooling (new versions ought to be even better), but made a really significant difference in outside noise.

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