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The top of the blind doubles as a hand dryer. The top of the blind doubles as a hand dryer.

Cool Window Treatments Turn Up The Heat

 
Most window blinds are used to keep the sun -- and heat -- out of the home. These SolarChoice blinds do the exact opposite -- they increase the heat in the home. The "Heaters", as they are called, are winter window treatments that purportedly reduce heating costs up to 35%. How does it work? Each plastic vane has a hollow channel running its length. Cold air enters the channel at the bottom of the blind, warms up through passive solar heating, and exits out the top of the vane -- at temperatures as high as 140 degrees.

The website has a video to teach homeowners how to install the product, as well as measuring guides for ordering. Installation looks pretty straight-forward: Drill a few holes, fasten a few clips, hang the header and blinds, and presto! Thousands of BTU's of heat are exhaled into the room with zero emissions, zero operating cost and zero maintenance needs.

As if that wasn't enough to pique your interest, the Heaters qualify for Federal Solar Energy tax incentives.

The design isn't fancy -- a brushed aluminum-style finish faces the interior of the room -- and you'll probably want to be removing them during the warmer summer months, which is a slight bother. Oh, and the blinds aren't cheap -- one 6'x8' treatment sells for close to $1500. That certainly had me whipping the calculator out to determine how quickly the Heaters would pay for themselves, given a 35% savings in heating cost.

Here's one last consideration: there's really no point in having them installed on windows that don't see the sun, so your home decor may suffer from a slight imbalance, at least as window treatments are concerned. If you can get beyond that, I'd say the Heaters are worth taking a look at.

Would you consider the SolarChoice Heaters for your home this winter?








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