How to Use Window Blinds

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At this point in your life, you're probably quite familiar with the concept of window blinds and how they work. Vertical blinds slide to one side to open and horizontal blinds are pulled up and down. Many blinds have slats that you can turn to add privacy or adjust the amount of light coming into a room.

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You know how blinds work, but do you truly know how to use them effectively? A good window blind can do a lot more than most people give it credit for. Paying a bit more attention to how you use your blinds can help improve the energy efficiency of your home while protecting your rugs and furniture.

Blinds and Energy Efficiency

Natural light is certainly the most beautiful and least expensive option for a home, but it can cause problems that blinds solve. The first problem is heat. In the middle of a hot summer, you don't want sunlight beaming directly into a room you're trying to keep cool. The heat that comes in through the window will make your air conditioner work harder to keep your space comfortable. Blocking the light with a window blind can significantly reduce the amount of work your air conditioner has to do.

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The opposite is true in the winter. You pay for your furnace to keep your house warm and cozy, so it makes sense to gather any free heat you can. If you have a particularly sunny window in your home, open the blinds during the winter to get as much heat from the sun as you can. On overcast winter days with little to no sunlight, however, keep your blinds closed to add an extra layer of insulation to your window.

Protect Your Furnishings

Over time, bright sunlight can cause colors to fade. If your favorite upholstered chair sits in front of a window where direct sunlight shines in often, you may notice that the fabric on the chair has faded and dulled over time. Blinds offer a simple solution to this problem.

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By closing your blinds where and when the sun comes in at its brightest, you can protect your furniture and rugs from fading. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy natural light. When you're home using the space, you can leave the blinds open if you wish. There's no need, however, to risk faded furniture on days you spend at work or are otherwise away from home. On these days, it's best to shut the blinds before you leave.

Add Some Privacy

If you decide you want to strut around your house in the nude, you probably don't want the neighbors watching. And unless they're a little voyeuristic, your neighbors probably don't want to see that any more than you want to show it to them. Unfortunately, however, many privacy seekers may not be as hidden as they think.

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If you have Venetian blinds, your best privacy setting is turning the slats on your blinds upward. In this position, the rounded side of the blind slats faces away from you and toward the window. This position offers the most privacy. Tilting the slats down lets in more light but also reduces your privacy by creating a larger gap between the slats.

Get More Peace and Quiet

You're never going to achieve a totally soundproofed home, but the right window blinds can help reduce the amount of outside noise that comes in. Almost any blind will serve as a barrier between you and unwanted noise, but some do a much better job than others. Roman shades made of heavy fabric work well as noise reducers as do honeycomb shades.

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references

Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.