What Are Blackout Blinds?
Blinds are alternatives to curtains and are used on windows and glass doors to block heat and sunlight from entering a room. They act as insulators of heat and allow the users to control how much sunlight enters into the room. They also provide a certain amount of privacy to the occupants from passers-by outside the home. Blinds are comprised of slats which are thin and narrow pieces of material (usually plastic, wood or aluminium) that fit into each other.
Blackout blinds are ones that totally block out the sunlight from entering the room. People often choose between blinds that are made of such material that allow a certain amount of sunlight to pass through even when the blinds are fully drawn. On the other hand, blackout blinds totally block the sunlight.
What Are The Benefits Of Blackout Blinds?
- It provides the best environment for sleep and rest – Blackout blinds are especially useful for those users who are used to resting during the day. In the modern lifestyle working hours can get extremely long and out of sync. This will lead to the average person working during odd hours. This results in sometimes having to sleep during the day. Even if the temperature is not too hot, the sunlight can make it very difficult to catch a few hours of sleep during the day. Of course, with curtains or blinds drawn, the sunlight is prevented from entering a room. Blackout blinds work best when it comes to keeping the sunlight out. Regular blinds do a decent job, but there is always a chance of the sunlight seeping through.
- Blackout blinds can save money by being energy-efficient – Blinds in general have really good insulation properties. They can prevent excess heat from entering homes during the warmer seasons and prevent heat loss from the rooms to the outside. Blackout blinds in this regard, are slightly more superior to the regular blinds. This in turn, means that the users can save up on money which would have otherwise been spent on energy to either warm up the house or cool it down.
- They give the occupants of the house a sense of privacy – When blackout blinds are drawn, they make sure that it not only blocks the sunlight and doesn’t allow the people on the inside to view what is on the outside, but it is also the other way around. It provides a sense of comfort to the people staying inside that nobody is snooping by peeping through the windows. Moreover, similar to curtains, blackout blinds are powerful absorbers of sound. Almost any commotion coming from the outside will be reduced largely by drawing the blinds. This helps people in focusing on work, enjoying a quiet day to themselves or just sleeping.
Are Blackout Blinds Bad For Your Health?
There is this notion that inadequate sunlight can cause health issues and maybe that even the materials used to make blackout light, might cause some health scares. It is absolutely necessary to clarify these notions and assess the degree of the truth they hold.
There exists a health concern with respect to blackout curtains. It is because of this, and the sensitivity of the issues, that blackout blinds, and blackout shades are roped in. However, the concern mostly exists with blackout curtains and not blackout blinds.
Does That Mean That Blackout Curtains Can Be Harmful to Health?
It is key to examine the situation fully. Blackout curtains are made with some chemicals which are infused into the fabric of the curtains. These chemicals contain ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’ or VOC. The curtains that contain VOCs are regarded by some, to be toxic in nature. In most cases, breathing in the air surrounding these VOCs is highly unlikely to trigger a reaction, unless the person is specifically allergic to the VOC in question.
VOCs are found in products that are meant for cleaning supplies and chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of furniture. Not all VOCs have the ability to harm a person’s health. To be perfectly clear, VOCs have very rarely affected the health of a person. Whether it is the root cause of a person’s ill health can depend factors such as how long they have been exposed to the VOC, what type of VOC it is and the proximity to the person and the compound.
One possible way to find out is first conducting research to see if the VOCs in the curtains might be something that a potential buyer is allergic to. In the event that the curtain is bought, if the person suffers from migraines, eye irritation and feeling dizzy on occasion, the curtain can be one of the probable causes as these are some of the symptoms of ingestion of an VOC. It would be easy to pinpoint the curtain as the cause if these problems surfaced right after a curtain was bought. If not, changing curtains to see if the situation gets better is one way of doing things.
Aggravated health effects of VOCs include ear pain, loss of centre of balance, migraines, breathing issues and nasal irritation. However, what is important to note is that all these problems do not necessarily mean that blackout curtains are harmful to a person’s health. Blackout curtains are made out fabric that is fashioned from polyester. It is well known that polyester is petroleum based synthetic fabric. To make curtains out of polyester is a process that requires a decent number of chemical processes and involves VOCs. Even so, polyester is used to make a lot of accessories such as clothing. A person is likely to face health issues from the blackout curtains as they are likely to face them from polyester clothing. It is possible though, but these cases are rare.
Where Does This Leave Blackout Blinds?
Blackout blinds are very different from blackout curtains. In fact, for those who are concerned with blackout curtains being harmful to a person’s health, blackout blinds are generally a safer alternative. That said you should check with the blind manufacturer to see what material and processes they use, or if their blinds are rated for offgassing harmful chemicals.
Moreover, the benefits of blackout blinds are unparalleled. If the issue of lack of sunlight and deficiency in vitamins such as Vitamin D is concerned, it is merely a matter of regulation of habits. For example, if one has reminders on their smartphones or other ways to point out that natural sunlight is needed at certain times of the day, then they can simply open the shutters whenever needed. Beyond that, blackout blinds work perfectly for almost every room. Naturally, they will find their use in the bedrooms as their primary advantage is to allow the users to get some unhindered sleep. However, they also find their use in rooms such as the den or the Television room where it is meant to be dark to get the maximum value out of the experiences in those rooms.
It is important to note that if the users are planning to keep the blinds drawn for long periods of time, it is best not to keep potted plants in those rooms. Another benefit of these blinds is that they prevent furniture from rotting due to exposure to harsh sunlight.