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?
This is a great idea...good post. I would install these in my house, but I think I would check the price of a high sear heat pump first...(my house would be about 20000 just for the blinds, I have a small house).
I am really impressed by this new product. After reading this I called Solar Choice and found out you do not have to remove the blinds in the summer and there is a 30% off sale going on right now! For a south facing window, this is a no brainer.
Watch your Solar Heat Gain Coefficient & these blinds
10/31/2009 12:26 AM
I am really intrigued by this product. Living in a southern climate, our heating needs are significantly less and therefore a product like this might not be as important. However, I do like the fact that it incorporates renewable practices instead of burning more fuel.
One thing (in my opinion) to be careful of with this product: if you have recently replaced your windows with windows that meet the Federal Tax Credit requirements, you might not get the full benefit of the blinds. The reason is the windows will have a very good Solar Heat Gain Coefficient which means it is designed to prevent the very warmth that these blinds are trying to capture. Since the window cuts down on the heat coming in from the sun, there is not as much available to capture in these blinds. A small consideration for a great sounding product, but one to consider.