Honeycomb blinds are a form of cellular shading that help to filter or block light when installed in front of a window. Some designs make it possible to insulate the windows as well to help homeowners save on their energy costs. The cell size may vary based on the product selected, with the shape holding trapped air to create a barrier between the room and the exterior surface of the structure. No testing exists to rank the products from different manufacturers, but the effectiveness of this technology did qualify the product for energy tax credits in the United States in 2011.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the typical home loses one-third of their heating and cooling energy through its doors and windows. Air inside the home is either heated or cooled based on the surface temperature of the window. Convection then swirls this change around the room. Thanks to the cell shapes in the honeycomb blinds, this process is restricted because of the barrier it creates.
This technology can feature single, double, or triple cell designs, each with an R-value that can be up to 0.7 when double-cell fabric is used. Their soft, paper materials offer resiliency, reduce solar gain, and can provide a darker environment for sleeping.
If you are thinking about a new way to add some value to your home, then these are the pros and cons of honeycomb blinds to consider today.
List of the Pros of Honeycomb Blinds
1. The insulating feature of honeycomb blinds is highly beneficial.
The insulative value of the average double-paned window can double when you install a honeycomb blind to protect it. The barrier it creates with the long, open channels that trap air at the window can help to maintain comfortable indoor conditions in all seasons. It is not unusual for the R-value of 3.5 for the window to increase to 7 if you are willing to invest in the most energy-efficient shades that are manufactured for the size of your window.
2. It provides you with another layer of privacy.
Honeycomb shades offer a higher level of privacy for your windows compared to the other types of blinds or curtains that are sometimes hung in the home. Unless you decide to purchase a sheer fabric for this product, the cellular shades offer complete privacy for your indoors. Add the top-down, bottom-up feature to your new shades that allow you to lift them to the top or lower to the sill to bring in light when you want it during the day too. If you live in a busy neighborhood or a high traffic environment, you can prevent the awkward glances of people reaching you from the outside with this product.
3. You have multiple options available to you for light control.
You can choose fabrics that will completely block light when the shades are down when you choose the honeycomb design. There is also the option to filter the light so that you receive a tempered source during the day to reduce the use of interior lighting. If you have an entertainment room, a child’s bedroom, or a space where you don’t want sunlight reaching the area at times, then this is the option that you are going to want to choose for your home.
There are even indoor and outdoor options produced by the honeycomb shade industry today, allowing you to block out all sunlight if you wish. One of the best ways to use this product is with a four-seasons porch, where you can insulate the structure, provide whatever light you want, and still create a low-maintenance window fixture that adds to your overall interior design.
4. Honeycomb blinds offer one of the best options for child safety.
All blinds offer a safety hazard to young children if they have string loops which help you to control the up-down motions. Moving to a stick-based turning system can be helpful for some blinds, but the automatic features that you will find with cellular shades provides the epitome of child safety today. When there are no cords on the product, then your kids or pets cannot get tangled in them. You have access to vertical options as well with some designs, making it easier to provide a layer of protection for your patio doors.
5. You can make the honeycomb blinds virtually disappear for a clear view.
Because of the cellular design of honeycomb blinds, the fabric compresses exceptionally well when you lift the product all of the way up into its top position. The folds create a small stack, which you can then hide behind a valance if you want. That means you can hide the fact that there are blinds installed in your home from an interior design standpoint, and then still take advantage of their solar blocking and privacy benefits when it is time to turn in for the night. That is why they are such a versatile addition to the home.
6. Cleaning honeycomb blinds is relatively simple.
Because honeycomb blinds are made from fabrics or synthetics instead of plastic components, they can sometimes pick up lint, dust, or stains that would be simple to remove on standard shades. Although you need to take them down sometimes to wash them, it can be as simple as placing them in a bathtub with a little detergent and scrubbing the stains away. You can then hang the blind outside to let it dry. Some models can even attach right away while you keep a towel underneath to catch any drips that might escape. For regular maintenance, a simple vacuum can usually make sure that they are clean.
7. These blinds are available in several different shapes for convenience.
You will discover that manufacturers have produced honeycomb blinds to accommodate almost every window design that is in the modern home. Dozens of different shapes, including triangles, arches, and trapezoids, are available to consumers to enhance the way that light comes into the home while offering their insulative benefits. If you have a large specialty window in your home that takes up a significant amount of space, then cellular shades offer one of the best ways to control temperatures in the room without permanently impacting your view.
8. Honeycomb blinds can be made from 2+ fabrics.
If you want to bring another level of versatility to your window shade, then the honeycomb design is one of the best options to choose. Manufacturers can make this product using two or more fabrics on each individual shade, allowing you to create specific outcomes that meet the needs of your home. Using a sheer fabric above one that is opaque would allow you to see outside during the day, yet it gives a bedroom the privacy it requires at night. There is a cost to consider with this dual option, but it may also be one that many homeowners are willing to pay.
9. These shades are priced competitively with other types of blinds.
When you start thinking about the cost of honeycomb shades, then it is essential that you shop around some for the products that you want. These products are typically more expensive than pleated or roller shades, but they are less expensive than Roman ones. With pricing beginning at $45 per window for a standard 27-inch installation, the pricing is not much worse than what you would find for premium models at your local store.
10. Cellular shades offer a noise reduction benefit as well.
The insulation benefits of the honeycomb blinds are nice to consider, but it will also provide you with a layer of protection against exterior noise. You won’t be able to block every sound that happens outside with this product, although you can reduce the decibel levels to a point that is appealing from an indoor standpoint.
List of the Cons of Honeycomb Blinds
1. These blinds are not the most fashionable items you might place in your home.
There is no denying the fact that a honeycomb blind is a workhorse. They offer plenty of insulative features that can be exceptionally helpful in some climates. Their privacy feature is one of their most significant benefits. There is also no getting around the fact that cellular shades do not offer much in the way of an improved look for your home. Most tend to look like pleated paper, which can make them look cheap and uninviting. That is why it is not unusual to see homeowners using this product in conjunction with others to produce the specific results that are wanted.
2. It is an all-or-nothing scenario with honeycomb blinds.
If you install plastic, wood, or aluminum blinds in your home, then you typically have the option to tilt the vanes of the product to allow a little light into the room without disrupting all of your privacy. Honeycomb blinds do not offer this option at all. Although some models offer an opaque material that allows light to come in, you must have the shades down to achieve this effect. You have no other options with cellular shades except to have them raised or lowered.
Unless you choose a model that works with patio doors, you do not have the option to move these shades from side-to-side either.
3. Some windows require the shades to be closed at all times.
Because of the shape that some specialty windows have, the installation of honeycomb blinds may require that the product always stay closed. This disadvantage is especially present for windows that have a smaller width at the top compared to the bottom. Although you can install a sheer cellular shade to encourage more light in the room without compromising on your privacy, you are forced into a position where the only way to see out of the window is to remove this product.
4. Cellular shades can be expensive.
Although there are some budget-friendly models available, the maximum cost for this product can be up to $220 per shade for a 27-inch window. Much of the cost depends on what the shape of the blinds must be, the fabrics used in its construction, and the width of the window you wish to protect. Custom shades may cost twice those rates. The type of cord that you choose will also impact the final cost, with cordless models often costing the most – but providing the best safety benefits at the same time.
5. Some honeycomb blinds are challenging to clean.
Trying to clean honeycomb blinds made of specific fabrics can be exceptionally challenging for some homeowners. Some manufacturers recommend that their premium shades receive steam cleaning only. If you do not have the equipment to do this work yourself and a vendor is not available in your community, then it may be next to impossible to complete this task without a significant expense.
The pros and cons of honeycomb blinds are important to consider because this product can be a significant investment. Compared to the price of an entry-level set of plastic blinds, you might pay 10 times more for this product. Because of its ability to insulate your interior, the energy savings you experience may eventually pay for this upgrade. It may also not provide the best design complement to your other structures, so each home may see these key points a little differently.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.