Window blinds to cut costs?

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jehovasfitness
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by jehovasfitness » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:11 pm

Moved into our house last summer in DC/MD area so temps are usually 85-100* with humidity.

Over the summer our electric bill (all electric for cooking and hot water ) was $150-170 so really I think that's pretty good. House is 1200 sq ft that faces south and has a ton of double pane windows facing that way but I can feel the heat from the sun.

We do want to get blinds for privacy but over the summer that's not a concern because of trees.

However, another reason is to cut the electric bill. Could we really save much by getting blinds considering our total bill is relatively low?

My best guess is that the break even point would be almost 10 yrs as a guess.

KWH use if I recall is about 1100-1300 over the summer months.

A lot of the bill is just the delivery charge of the service line.

edge
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Location: Great Falls VA

Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by edge » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:19 pm

It can help moderately but the best approach is exterior shutters or solar shades. May be difficult to integrate with your home’s architecture in an elegant way.

whomever
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by whomever » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:39 pm

This is very unscientific, but FWIW: we have some windows where we installed two blinds (a double thickness set, if you will) of Costco's (Bali??) double honeycomb blinds. When it's either cold (single digits) or hot (upper 90's and direct sun) you can feel the cold/heat on your face after you open the inner blind. It's quite striking. I found a PDF somewhere with R values for the blinds, so you could probably do the math and work out the economics.

Our climate tends to have cool nights even in the summer, and so we use a whole house fan to cool the house in the early AM, then shut things up in midmorning. With the double blinds we usually make it through the hot part of the day without resorting to running the AC. We tried doubling them up as an experiment, and have been pleasantly surprised, but YMMV.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:46 pm

Solar shades will make a huge difference.

I used 3 day blinds. They were cheaper than Costco's recommend vendor, even after the 10% cash back offer.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:59 pm

If you have storm windows, upgrading to new storm windows with "Low-E" glass can make a big difference. Low-E can block most solar heat. Cost per window is around $100/each.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by jehovasfitness » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:50 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:59 pm
If you have storm windows, upgrading to new storm windows with "Low-E" glass can make a big difference. Low-E can block most solar heat. Cost per window is around $100/each.
Yeah, house was built in 2016 and already has them

CRC301
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:31 pm

Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by CRC301 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:55 pm

Our great room has 3 large windows and 2 skylights all facing west. It used to get really hot in the summer mid-day. I installed solar film directly to the windows and it made a noticeable difference as far as how hot it felt in the room. I couldn't really tell you if it lowered the bills though.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:13 am

We used Levelor Candlelight (color) insulating cellular shades. We used them mostly for privacy, but also to block cold coming off (double pane) windows during winter nights and sun streaming in south and west facing windows during the summer, adding heat and fading sofas, etc.

They are not cheap, but they look great and they do what we wanted to do.

Valuethinker
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Re: Window blinds to cut costs?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:25 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:11 pm
Moved into our house last summer in DC/MD area so temps are usually 85-100* with humidity.

Over the summer our electric bill (all electric for cooking and hot water ) was $150-170 so really I think that's pretty good. House is 1200 sq ft that faces south and has a ton of double pane windows facing that way but I can feel the heat from the sun.

We do want to get blinds for privacy but over the summer that's not a concern because of trees.

However, another reason is to cut the electric bill. Could we really save much by getting blinds considering our total bill is relatively low?

My best guess is that the break even point would be almost 10 yrs as a guess.

KWH use if I recall is about 1100-1300 over the summer months.

A lot of the bill is just the delivery charge of the service line.
There are 2 effects at work:

- albedo - white interior blinds will reflect some (visible) light back out through the glass,

- infrared reflection & reradiance - a lot of the reflected heat will still get trapped between the glass and the blind. Thus, it will eventually heat the room

The second one you can really only address by having external shutters. Internal won't do it.

The effect of blinds is certainly one you feel. However it may be more about just not having the direct sunlight on you than actually keeping the room cool- -due to the second effect.

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