how do blinds between glass work


how do blinds between glass work

Now I know there are options to prevent people from looking inside, but I didn’t like any of them.  We used a window film on the front door of our last home, but I don’t like that option for this house because then we can’t see Roxy when she’s out in the backyard.  Sure, we could hang a curtain/shade, but that would be so annoying whenever we open and close the door, not to mention the fact that it would look really weird.  So as I was wracking my brain for a solution, I remembered something Noel and I saw on the Parade of Homes: blinds that are built in to the door between the glass panes.
I concluded there were three major drawbacks about these doors:

Drawback #1: They aren’t as energy efficient as a normal glass door.

Glass itself is a terrible insulator, which is why majority of windows are double paned.  By doing this, the glass sandwiches air in between it.  To make a window more efficient, a gas called argon is often sealed between the two panes, and a low-e coating can be applied to the glass to reflect heat.

Well, when you put blinds between the two window panes, you can’t have the argon sealed inside, which dramatically reduces the efficiency of the window.  It’s also important to note that the blinds themselves don’t add any significant insulation.  So, by buying a window with blinds, your window is far less efficient than just buying a double paned window.

There are companies that make triple pane windows so that there can still be argon gas between two of the panes, and then the blinds can be in the other cavity.  However, if you go this route, you’d get a lower U-factor* (more efficient window) if you just bought a triple pane window without the blinds, because then you’d have two layers of argon gas.  Plus, triple pane windows are expensive, and the ones that have the blinds in them are even more money.

Drawback #2:  The blinds still get dusty and are hard to clean.

One of the major misconceptions with these doors is that the blinds don’t get dusty.  And that’s completely false.  There are tiny holes that allow dust to enter the space between the glass, so the blinds will in fact get dusty.  With some of the windows, you are able to remove one of the panes of glass to clean the blinds, but it is quite the process and the instructions are quite elaborate.

Drawback #3: If the blinds break, they are hard (if not impossible) to fix.

If it so happens that the blinds between your window panes break, you are in quite a sticky situation.  If you are lucky enough to have the kind where you can remove one of the panes of glass, you will be able to fix them.  However, I wouldn’t consider yourself too terribly lucky, because the replacement blinds are NOT cheap.  Furthermore, if you don’t have the kind where you can remove a pane, you are stuck with broken blinds, and the only way to fix it is to replace the door.  Whomp whomp.

So, with all of that being said, what’s the verdict for us?  There are a lot of great features, but in the end, they just aren’t for us (at least not for us in this house).  Right now, I can’t justify spending that kind of money for a triple paned version, and I don’t want a window with no insulating properties.  With that being said, even though they aren’t for us, doesn’t mean they can’t be for you.  Just please make sure that if you do buy them, you don’t buy them because you think they are more energy efficient.

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