The Amazing thermal and sound insulation properties of Cellular Shades
The Energy Crisis of the 70’s
The establishment of the Jewish state of Israel resulted in the collective disenchantment of the Arab States with the West. When the Soviet Union started helping arm Egypt and Syria to attack Israel, President Nixon began aiding Israel in its efforts to stay ahead of the Arab attack, in retaliation to which the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) proclaimed an embargo on oil shipments to the US and its allies, sparking an international energy crisis.
Effects of the Energy Crisis
In the months following the embargo, oil prices practically skyrocketed, quadrupling, Americans feeling the pinch due to commodity price spikes and fuel shortages that started the formation of lines in gas stations across the country. There was a clarion call for energy conservation that included closing of gas stations on Sundays and for homeowners to refrain from putting up holiday lights. This crisis also saw America getting outpaced by the Japanese, who introduced smaller and more fuel efficient cars into the market, a blow to the American automotive industry
In Europe, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark introduced limitations on driving, boating and flying, the British PM calling for homes to heat only one room in their homes in winter.
Though the embargo was lifted in March of 1974, the effects of the energy crisis lingered throughout the decade – price controls and gas were rationed, national speed limits were imposed, and daylight savings were adopted through the year. Environmentalists gathered momentum in their fight for controls, Washington seeking their counsel in policy making, redefining America’s relationship with fossil fuels and other forms of energy, resulting also, in the implementation of the US Department of Energy. America looked towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy.
The Honeycomb or Cellular Shades Emerge
More than 50% of a building’s energy is lost through its windows, and as an attempt to increase energy efficiency in homes, the think tank at Hunter Douglas came up with the surprisingly fashionable yet functional Cellular Shades, admirably cutting down energy consumption in homes. Two pleated panels are heat seamed at the pleated edges, forming rows of hexagonal cells that trap air when deployed over a window, blocking the cold air from flowing in from the glass pane and preventing the warm air from escaping through windows in winter, and vice versa in summer.
The Graber Advantage
Today, Graber makes some of the most exciting cellular shade varieties on the market, both in single and double cell layers, in varying cell sizes, as horizontal shades for windows(the CrystalPleat Range), and vertical shades (the SlideVue Range) for doors. The larger the cells, the more the air trapped, and, therefore, the better the insulation it provides. Likewise, the more the layers of cells, the more the insulation.
Made in an array of exquisitely crafted woven and non-woven polyester fabrics, Graber offers cellular shades in four options for brightening and darkening rooms –
The sheer fabric – allows almost all of the visible light through, blocking the foray of UV ray in the process, protecting interior elements. It allows a fairly clear view of the exteriors, much like the view provided through gauze. And in turn, a fairly clear view of the interiors is possible, which means that the privacy it renders is practically nil.
The light filtering fabric – does allow light through but the weave or construction of the fabric is denser, providing only a muted view – forms or shapes may be observed, but not the details.
The room darkening fabric – completely obscures the view and blocks the light from entering a room well enough to make for comfortable TV viewing or working at the computer. One can still make out if its day or night.
The blackout fabric – has a metalized plastic film lining the inner surfaces of the cells, annihilating the sun’s entry into a room. Blackout cellular shades have been certified by the National Sleep Foundation as the most effective shades in providing peaceful slumber, especially for night shift workers.
Cellular shades are the most energy efficient window dressings on the market. They are also so perfectly crafted for elegance that they blend into any interior style with grace. The bigger the cell size, or the more the number of cell layers, of the more the density of the fabric, the more the price of the shade. But they more than makeup for the initial investment in the years to come in terms of rendering savings on power bills.
Today, automation of shades cost next to nothing and are also the safest options for homes with children and pets. Automated shades can be interfaced to sync with the home’s lighting and AV equipment, saving energy, time, and effort. The new Virtual Cord automation provides seamless window dressing controls.
The TDBU, the Perfect Vue, and the DayNight Options
In their attempts to offer convenience to their customers, Graber has added the following benefits –
The Top-Down Bottom-Up (TDBU) features a new magnetized mid rail that ensures that the shade stays in position firmly when lowered from the top of the window, offering a wonderful view and privacy at the same time. Likewise, when raised from the bottom upwards.
The PerfectVue Shades offer the benefits of pleated shade panels in sheer or light filtering fabrics in combination with room darkening or blackout cellular fabric panels, allowing tranquil grace, insulation, and coziness not limited to a bedroom.
The Sun-Up Sun-Down is an offering similar to the PerfectVue except that both the panels are cellular, the top one being room darkening or blackout, the bottom, sheer or light filtering.
With the above offerings, the old complaint, (and the only negative perceived for cellular shades) that cellular shades have to be raised all the way up a window has been decisively defused, thanks to the ceaseless pursuit of excellence by the design team at Graber. Kudos!