Save Energy, Stay Cool

Table of Contents

In Arizona, especially in the summer months, a common question is “What shades do the best to reduce the heat?” That’s a loaded question for sure. There are a lot of priorities people have to arrange when choosing new shades:


This certainly feels like most people’s priority when they first start their shopping. Don’t make the mistake of choosing solely on price… or you’ll pay for it again later.


If you plan on being in this home for more than a year, this matters. So many manufacturers warranties are limited, and only 1 year. Almost all our products have Lifetime Warranties


A lot of vendors have their products made in China. Will it matter to you if you end up waiting 6, 8, 12, or even 16 weeks to get them installed? Most our products ship in 3 weeks or less.

Light Reduction

Do you want blackout? Do you like the way light adds dynamics to your room, but need to reduce the glare? With so many options, these are good things to learn about so you can make a good decision.


It’s all about image these days, am I right? Learn about small decisions or add-ons that can make a huge difference!

Heat Reduction

Wait! My Shades can reduce heat and improve my energy usage? You bet!

3 Energy-Efficient Window Coverings

Today we dig into how to reduce heat with your window coverings and which shade options will do it best. To be clear, anything in the window to block out sunlight and create a barrier will help with heat reduction, but in my experience, these 3 options are most effective.

One of the highlights of Honeycomb (also known as Cellular Shades) is their ability to blackout a room better than most shades. With those blackout fabrics what also increases is the insulation factor in your window. Think about it… dual-paned windows. Is there anything between them? No insulation, no foam… just air. Yet Dual-Paned windows became a code that contractors now have to build with because it makes your home more energy-efficient…. and over the years, the cost of energy keeps going up.

The cells in Honeycomb do the same thing… hit the sun on one side of the shade, they have that air gap inside the cell, or on dual-cells even greater reduction… and then there’s the inside of the shade. The heat simply doesn’t transfer that far, and you’re left with better heat reduction and improved energy efficiency. Add that to options like Top-Down-Bottom-Up, Cordless, or Automated… and you start to get yourself some fun ways to shade your home.

Shutters (also referred to as Plantation Shutters) have the same effect… but buyer beware! Shutters have made drastic improvements in the past 10-15 years; different materials, different control options, different sized louvers, etc, and the material of your shutters makes a big difference. Let me explain…

Shutters were originally made out of wood. People are always seeking ways to do things better and make improvements. What kinds of problems are there with wood shutters” you ask? For starters, they’re made of wood. Anything made of wood suffers from the sun, rain, and other elements. It needs to be painted or stained, and then later painted on stained again. Wood is expensive and more finite than people realize… translation = costly! The left-over material from wood ends up being more wasteful and isn’t really part of the green movement. In problem-solving these things, manufacturers started experimenting with blended materials and making composites of different mixes. Using these composites over the last 20 years to solve the damage issues caused by the sun, water, and time… they’ve replaced our decks and siding with composite materials… fences are made from composite materials, and lots more other things than we realize.

The poly-composite movement in shutters has been huge. They have the same impact as Honeycomb; they improve insulation better without carrying the heat (like wood does). They have very little, if not any waste at all because all of their materials can be used. Translation – they’re less expensive. Both wood shutters and poly-composite will improve heat reduction, but the poly-composite will do it just a little better.

Want an effective way to reduce heat? The most affordable way is with Exterior Sun Screens. Also referred to as Solar Screens, these get installed on the outside of the window and have different options of opacity for you to choose from. Not into the look of Solar Screens? Try adding additional framing in them, or adding dividers to keep the cosmetic looks of your house appealing. The frames can match the existing frames your windows currently have on them, and our recommendation is to go black, bronze, or brown with the screen colors. I have never seen a screen that matches the stucco look good… but with the darker colored screens, you almost don’t even notice. It’s like tinted windows; there are different levels of tint. If you want to look the same as everyone else, go with 80%. If you want a “darker tint” on your screens or to improve the heat reduction, go with 90%. They have options for 95% and 97% as well… but unless your goals are to blackout a room, the 80% and 90% are great!

This is the most affordable way to improve energy efficiency. Screens are a smart way to allow yourself time to find the window treatments you want. Think of them like sunglasses—you can see out of them, but people can’t see into them. The fewer windows you have, the less it costs. This is a brilliant way to get privacy and heat reduction, while you can then use your time to find the shades you want.

At the end of the day, anything to block out light and create some barrier between the sun and the inside of your home will help with these improvements. but these are my top 3 recommendations.

Picture of Josh Tycksen

Josh Tycksen

Driven entrepreneur with a passion for dance. Leading Best Blinds & Sexy Shutters by core principles and a commitment to exceptional customer experiences.

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We at Best Blinds & Sexy Shutters in the East Valley, AZ, are so grateful that you have chosen us as your partner in your window treatment journey. We understand that choosing the perfect window treatments for your home is a personal and important process, and we want to assure you that you’re making the right choice with us.

We’d love to hear from you! Give us a call today, and let us help you find the perfect window treatments for your home.