When we asked readers should toilet paper go on the roll “over” or “under” (as if!), reader Steve was agnostic on the issue. However, he flagged another vexing question — how should the slats of horizontal blinds be adjusted? I asked the experts at Hunter Douglas, and yup, now everything is illuminated. bwah bwah.
The real question is how blinds should be closed – concave side facing in or out. Believe me; this is a very contentious issue in my household.
I installed classic old-school Hunter Douglas aluminum horizontal blinds in my kitchen — see the story I wrote about the blinds I put in my kitchen (shown above) here — so I contacted the PR folks at Hunter-Douglas to see if they could find a company expert to provide us with a bona fide scientific answer, and they did….
Bobby Dill, General Manager of the Hunter Douglas Horizontal Blinds Division, provided this assessment of the pros and cons of how to angle the slats on horizontal aka in the postwar days as “venetian” blinds:
It really is consumer preference, although we know that turning the slats upward (front edge of the blind upward) usually provides more privacy, less light into the room, and minimizes heat transfer into the room…. Closed in the inside up direction, blinds may not have as soft an appearance, but there is greater control of daylight entering the room. Sunlight and some radiant energy will be deflected upward and away from the room. This benefit is especially relevant in places like offices, where there can be substantial energy savings derived from maximizing that amount of natural lighting in the space.
With that said, tilting to the front (front edge of the blind down) provides the most aesthetic benefit, but will admit more light through the small gaps where slats overlap because of the angle of sunlight on the window.
Really, it comes down to personal preferences and the particular situation. Horizontal blinds provide benefits and functionality when tilted in any position. There is no “right” or “wrong ” way go.
Thank you, Mr. Dill. Hey, I learned from this, Steve! Duh. I didn’t know. I am bad about physics or whatever this would be classified. Let me summarize, am I understanding this correctly:
Reasons to tilt your blinds upward aka outside:
- Directs light and heat up to the ceiling. A good strategy for summer, when you want to keep room cooler – could help cut air conditioning bills.
- Folks outside can’t see into your house.
Reasons to tilt your blinds downward aka inside:
- Directs light and heat into the heart of the room. May be a good strategy for the winter, when you want to warm the room.
- Tilted down, the blinds look “softer”, arguably, “better”.
- Peeps can peep more easily.