An important, but often overlooked, factor in determining which blind or shade to put in your home is the environmental impact in its manufacturing and the effects on indoor air quality in your home.
Energy efficient blinds and shades also help the environment. By effectively channeling the natural power of the sun, window coverings insulate during the winter, block solar heat gain in the summer and reduce UV damage inside the home.
We’ve put together a list of 4 important attributes to look for when purchasing your window treatment: GREENGUARD certification, sustainable manufacturing, Oeko-Tex® certification, and energy efficient design.
1) GREENGUARD Certification: The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry independent, non-profit organization, grants GREENGUARD Certification. GEI puts products through a series of tests to determine if they meet acceptable standards for indoor air quality. Those that pass are awarded GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification. Products that receive the GREENGUARD tag are continually tested to ensure they maintain the approved standards.
2) Sustainable Manufacturing Products manufactured at facilities employing aggressive programs to reduce energy consumption and overall carbon footprint, and products made from sustainable materials such as renewable resources like bamboo, sisal, grass, jute and wood harvested through “sustainable yield forest management”.
3) Oeko-Tex®: The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a globally uniform testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of production. The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100: “Confidence in Textiles” label verifies that the fabrics are free of PVC, halogen, lead, formaldehyde, allergenic dyes, pesticides, phenols, and heavy metals, among others.
4) Energy Efficient Design: Energy efficient window treatments translate into year-round savings on both heating and cooling costs. Inefficient windows can add 10-25% to heating bills and as much as 75% to summer air conditioning bills; and every kilowatt-hour of electricity you don’t use saves over two pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. Window treatments also protect your home from damaging UV rays. Products such as cellular shades, wood blinds, and lined roman shades offer some of the best year-around energy efficiency.