Lately, more clients are inquiring about automated window coverings, so I decided to talk to Décorview Automation Expert Jim Kennedy to learn more:
Christen: What are the most common reasons that customers want automated window coverings?
Jim: It used to be that you automated window coverings if you had windows that were hard to reach. It could be skylights, a window over a tub, behind furniture, and of course, high windows. But over the last couple of years, we have more clients wanting automation to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Closing the shades during the hottest part of the day in the summer, saves you from running your air conditioner as much, and if you raise your shades during the warmest time of the day in the winter, you’ll harness the solar heat through your windows, and not run your furnance as much. While you could do this by walking around you house adjusting your shades throughout the day, automation such as the Hunter Douglas Platinum App Timer and LCD timer ensure that it happens consistently every day, and consistency is important if you want to see an impact on your energy bills. Currently, about 12% of the window coverings we sell are automated.
Christen: Are there geographical areas and types of homes where automation is more common?
Jim: We find it is more common in areas with a lot of new construction such as high-rise condos, vacation homes and new luxury homes in all areas of the country. In terms of style, we see a lot of automation in existing contemporary homes, but also see owners of older traditional homes upgrade, and then there is of course the new construction and ‘Smart Homes’ with home automation systems that control everything from sprinklers to appliances and thermostates and of course window coverings.
Christen: Do people usually automate all their windows or just some?
Jim: I see orders from 1 to 30 and everywhere in between. The most common rooms are the master bedroom and bathroom, great rooms and man caves.
Christen: That is great information on why and where. Can you tell me a little bit about the practical stuff? How do you actually operate your automated window shades?
Jim: There are three ways to operate your automated window coverings:
- Wireless Radio Frequency Remote
- Wireless Wall Switch
- Platinum App on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
Christen: How are the shades powered?
Jim: Each shade has a motor. Regardless of the type of shade, the motor is always located in the headrail of the shade or in the roller tube if it is a roller shade.
Christen: Automation sounds cool, especially the Platinum App, but it also seems a little intimidating to get it set up.
Jim: Our Installers can help set it up and ensure it is working properly. The client usually sets up the Platinum App and has the installer help syncing the shades to the app. The app walks you through naming and syncing the shades step by step and once that is done the client can set up as many scenes as they want.
Christen: Thank you for sharing! It was interesting to learn that automated window shades are more than just fun gadgets.
Ready to learn more about automated window coverings? Visit our showroom or watch this video: