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Cellular Shades - Are They Cost Effective?

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Topic by ajosephg posted 04-10-2011 01:51 PM 4994 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ajosephg

2 posts in 3212 days

04-10-2011 01:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question windows insulation

The local power company did an energy survey on my place last week. One of the items suggested was to replace the window treatments with cellular shades/blinds.

We now have mini-blinds in all the windows. My question is how cost effective are cellular shades vs mini blinds? IAW what is the return on investment?

BTW – the windows are double glazed crank out casement windows that are really tight, as we rarely open them.

-- Joe



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Grandpa

139 posts in 3292 days

08-17-2011 10:17 PM

I am not familair with cellular shades but would be interested in knowing more. In my part of the company they tell you the truth on audits like this. I have a friend that had them com do an audit on his new home about 30 years ago. They told him the power vent would use more energy than it would save. Don’t change it but when it stopped working replace it with something that didn’t use power and had no moving parts. I would bet they told you right but I don’t know about the payback time. Keep us posted on what you find. Thanks

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ajosephg

2 posts in 3212 days

08-18-2011 03:52 AM

Grandpa – I posted the same question on Lumberjocks, and the consensus seems to be that while they will save energy, there probably is no return on investment. The link to the LJ post is: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/29269

If I get some time in the next day or two, I’m going to take a stab at calculating the BTU loss/gain per window with and without blinds. Hmmm, now what did I do with the thermodynamics textbook.

I was rather impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness of the power company audit guy. He probably spent almost 2 hours. Besides the window thing he found a substantial number of leaks in my duct work, some missing insulation under the floor, and penetrations that were not sealed. He also talked about my roof vents and said I needed more, but did not push the powered vents. I asked him if he thought I should add new vents now or wait a year or two when I will need to replace the shingles. He said wait, and then put in a ridge vent. He also said that since I have 16 inches of fiberglass in the attic, improving the venting would not reduce cooling cost measurably.

-- Joe

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Grandpa

139 posts in 3292 days

08-18-2011 05:21 AM

As a home inspector I would agree with the auditor. I have just completed a number of studies offered through InterNACHI. They keep saying that continous ridge venting and continous soffit venting is the best. I recently inspected 3 new homes built by the same contractor. These all had Smart Board® soffits with continous slots. This was the first time I have seen this used in my part of the country. I have seen plywood with a continous opening and screen wire over it but never the slotted Smart Board. It looked good and I can see where it would be effective. You also need air chutes to keep insulation from being blown into the soffits when you pile it deep like you have done. This keeps the area above the wall open for air transfer. You do reach a point of diminishing returns. In my part of the country (Oklahoma) 16 inches is considered the right amount and more does not offer any improvement. You can get more life from your shingles and framing if you properly vent the attic though. We try to have 1 sq ft of vent for every 150 sq ft of attic floor. This vent space is divided evenly between the soffit and the upper roof. metal louvers reduce the vent space by 25% and wood louvers reduce the open vent space by 75% according to InterNACHI.

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