In the heat of summer, many homeowners wonder whether their Roller Shades are helping to keep their homes cooler– or if another option would work better to insulate their home from the sun. 

While the short answer is yes, Roller Shades do block heat, their effectiveness varies when compared to other styles of shades. Let’s dive in.  

Understanding Heat Blocking with Roller Shades

top-down/bottom-up shades

While Roller Shades do act as a barrier between the sun and your home’s interior, their ability to block heat is more nuanced than, say, Cellular Shades, which are designed to serve as excellent insulators. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Roller Shades offer only a small amount of insulation and are most effective for privacy, room darkening, and blocking sunlight.” Here’s why: 

When sunlight hits the window, the shade material absorbs some of this energy, preventing a portion from entering the room. This process reduces the amount of heat that passes through the window, but it’s not as effective as true thermal insulation.

Advantages of Roller Shades

roller shades

However, as mentioned above, Roller Shades do bring other benefits to the table, such as:

  • Energy Savings: By blocking direct sunlight, they can help reduce the need for air conditioning.
  • UV Protection: Many Roller Shades filter out harmful UV rays, protecting your interior furnishings.
  • Light Control: From sheer to opaque, Roller Shades offer a range of light control options, catering to different privacy and style needs. For those interested in what we offer at EcoSmart Shades, check out styles of Roller Shades available.

Effective Usage of Roller Shades 

Maximizing the heat-blocking potential of roller shades involves more than just choosing the right material. 

The below tips will help maximize their effectiveness as heat blockers:

  • Fit and Installation: Ensure that the shades are the correct size for your windows and are installed close to the glass.
  • Timely Adjustment: Lower your shades during the hottest parts of the day to block direct sunlight. Raising them in cooler periods can help in temperature regulation.
  • Maintenance: Keep your shades clean and free of dust to maintain their reflective properties and overall functionality.
  • Automated Controls: Consider installing motorized shades that can adjust based on time of day or temperature, ensuring optimal use.

While Roller Shades are a great choice for many different purposes, if you’re looking to use your window shades as a true insulator throughout the summer (and winter!) months, there are other styles of shades to consider. 

For more information, be sure to check out our full offering of window shades on our site, and reach out to one of our Shade Gurus to talk through which style works best for your home.