Buying Guide

Energy Efficient Window Treatments

Cellular Shades
Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are the best and most energy efficient window coverings you can buy. They use a series of cell pockets to trap air around your windows, keeping your rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The cells use a unique design shape similar to a honeycomb and are often referred to as honeycomb shades. 

Cellular shades also come in a wide range of colors and pair well with the kid-safe cordless option, making them some of the most popular shades on the market. 


Inside-mounted cellular shades are the more popular option, but if energy efficiency is your primary concern, consider an outside mounted shade. 

There are different types of cellular shades with varying levels of insulating capabilities. How much insulation you get depends on two things; pleat sizes and the number of cell layers.  

Pleat Sizes

The size of each honeycomb cell helps contribute to the amount of energy your window coverings save you. Larger pleat sizes tend to trap more air and thus, are more energy efficient for your home. 

Cellular shades are offered in 3/8-, 9/16-, 1/2- and 3/4-inch sizes. 

Pleat sizes also make a difference in design style. Small pleats look better in smaller windows, while the lighter, per square foot larger pleats function more efficiently in wider windows.

Single Cell Shades

Shades with just one layer of honeycomb material are generally a more affordable choice over the multilayer options. These work best in moderate-tempered climates where energy efficiency is less of a concern. 

They are also a great choice if you are looking to add other upgrades like top-down/bottom-up, room darkening liners, cordless and more.  

Double Cell Shades

The mid-range option is the double cell shade. With an additional layer of honeycomb fabric, they are extra efficient at trapping and keeping air insulated in your home. They are also available in many colors, fabric styles and extra upgrades.

Triple Cell Shades

If you live in a climate with more extreme insulating needs, consider triple layer cellular shades. Adding these to your home can significantly reduce your utility bill and make your home more comfortable.


For window treatments with great insulating properties but a more elegant design style, try window draperies.

Drapes are a classic window feature available in thousands of colors, patterns and fabrics. Because drapes are outside-mounted, they provide more complete window coverage, increasing efficiency.

For extra energy savings, you can add a thermal lining to the back of your drape. Linings are generally white on the backside, which gives your home a clean and smooth exterior curb appeal.


For the tightest fit against your window seal and the thickest material, choose plantation shutters.

Shutters trap unwanted air between the glass and the covering, which helps insulate the room inside and reduce energy costs.

Exterior Shades

If unwanted heat is an issue for your home, consider adding exterior shades. These shades help cut down your air conditioning bills by preventing harsh sunlight from entering your home. 

They filter out harmful UV rays and cut down on solar gain, dramatically reducing your home’s interior temperature.

Combination Window Coverings

To maximize your energy efficiency, one window treatment may not be enough. If that is the case, you can layer window treatments on top of each other to increase insulation even more. 

The most popular way of doing this is adding drapes to inside-mounted cellular shades or shutters. This tactic dramatically reduces the energy lost through your windows, and looks great in your home.