Yes, wooden blinds are a good insulator when the blind is closed with the slats aligned snugly, and good quality wooden blinds can make a marked difference to the ambient temperature of your room in winter, potentially even allowing you to turn the heating down.
Wooden blinds also insulate against the sun in the summer, helping you to keep your home cooler inside when it’s particularly hot.
This blog post will explain what makes wooden blinds good insulators, how they compare to other types of blinds, and how to maximise the efficiency of your wooden blinds to preserve heat within the home.
How well do wooden blinds insulate?
First up, all wooden blinds are different; depending on who/where you buy them from, obvious things like the type of wood they’re made of and the quality of them can be highly variable. This in turn means that how well any wooden blinds insulates can vary as a result of this.
For the purposes of simplicity/clarity, in this blog post I’m going to talk specifically about the wooden blinds that we sell, in terms of the type of wood, quality, and their traits.
With that in mind, how well do wooden blinds insulate if you buy them from us? Taken as a standalone question, wooden blinds insulate very well.
They can effectively stop a draught from the window they’re hung on, and if one of the main sources of heat loss in the room is your windows (perhaps because they’re old, not a good fit, single glazed, or otherwise not very energy efficient) then wooden blinds can make a big difference to the ambient temperature of the room. If your home is poorly insulated in general with lots of heat lost through the walls and loft, wooden blinds won’t make such a big impact; but they will still help.
Whilst using wooden blinds to insulate is never going to be comparable to fitting new double glazing in terms of how tangible an impact it has, they’re also not going to cost you anywhere near the price you’d pay for new double-glazed windows either!
If you hang your wooden blind inside of the window recess and as close to the glass as possible, ensuring as close a fit within the recess as you can get to minimise gaps around the sides of the blind, a wooden blind could actually enable you to maintain the heat within the room with the thermostat a degree or so lower than you’d otherwise have it on cold days.
How do wooden blinds insulate?
Wooden blinds insulate by forming a thermal barrier at the window, to keep the heat in and the cold out. Our own wooden blinds (and most wooden blinds sold in the UK by quality retailers) are made of basswood; and this is an excellent natural insulator, even compared to other types of wood.
Basswood is a lightweight, dry hardwood, which contains tiny air pockets within the cellular structure of the wood, allowing it to retain heat quite effectively. Basswood also has low thermal conductivity, which means that it doesn’t transfer heat like, say, metal does, and this also means that it has excellent insulating capabilities.
Finally, wood is a natural material and as such, it is hygroscopic; this means that it attracts water molecules from the ambient air in the room and serves to exchange or recycle them, which provides a level of stability and protection against short-term temperature and humidity changes and serves as a buffer against sudden spikes or drops in temperature.
Do wooden blinds insulate better than other types of blinds?
Compared to regular blinds made of standard materials like polyester, cotton, other fabrics, or aluminium (this latter being what we make Venetian blinds from) wooden blinds are the superior insulator.
However, you can also buy some types of blinds with an added thermally insulating lining; this is possible for roller blinds, Roman blinds, and vertical blinds. These are designed specifically to insulate, and so will tend to be more effective than wooden blinds; although this might only be by a very negligible amount.
Faux-wood blinds are actually slightly better than wooden blinds at insulating, as they’re made of such a thick, rigid material, and as they’re synthetic rather than natural like real wood is, their slats lie more tightly together when closed.
Will wooden blinds keep the cold out?
Wooden blinds will keep the cold out or the heat in more efficiently than curtains, a regular blind, or no window coverings at all. However, how effectively wooden blinds keep the cold out depends on how well your room is insulated overall and how cold it is; and these factors along with the wooden blinds themselves will dictate how comfortable the temperature of the room is or how high you need to set your heating thermostat to be comfortable in it.
Do wooden blinds insulate against the sun too?
Yes, on the flipside or in the summer, wooden blinds also insulate against the sun if you keep them closed during the day. This can help to keep your home from overheating, and even mean the difference between a room being tolerable versus too hot to stay in comfortably.