Pros & Cons of 3/8-Inch & 3/4-Inch Cellular Shades

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Cellular shades filter light coming into your home, without darkening the room completely. When raised, these shades have a very low profile, so do not interfere with your view and also help insulate against heat loss and gain. You can purchase cellular shades in a variety of colors and configurations, including 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch single, double and triple cell.

How They Work

To make cellular shades, the manufacturer pleats two or more layers of fabric to form channels or cells. Some people refer to these shades as honeycomb shades, because the air chambers resemble honeycombs. All these air spaces act as insulation. Because the fabric used to make cellular shades is thin and translucent, the shades filter light and do not weigh a great deal. The shades compress into a very small space when drawn.

Size Matters

The cells come in different sizes, from 3/8 inch to 9/16 inch. The larger the cell, the more air space and the potential for greater insulation value. So a 3/4-inch shade will provide more insulation than a 3/8-inch shade, but the larger shades are usually more expensive. Most people may not even notice a difference between the insulating value of a 3/4-inch and 3/8-inch shade, since some air will escape around the sides, top and bottom of the shade, no matter the pleat size.

Single, Double or Triple

Cellular shades can contain one, two or even three cells in a layer. The more cells, the more layers of air and the higher the insulating value. More layers also means a higher price tag. Multi-layer shades can also feel bulkier than single-cell shades.

Other Considerations

Cellular shades that fit into tracks on either side of the window offer the most insulating value, since the tracks help seal the window space when the shades are drawn. Cellular shades block some outside heat from entering the house but work better at keeping cold air out; thus, such shades are a better choice for colder climates, where the primary aim is to lower heating bills.

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