Can I Motorize Existing Blinds at Home?
Motorized blinds are getting to be much more affordable as they have been on the market for several years now and there are so many different options too. The motors are longer lasting and built to provide you innovation without the need to buy a lot of expensive batteries on a yearly basis as the first types that were created. Read on to find out how to make your home a truly smart home.
You can motorize your existing window treatments in several different scenarios to upgrade them from beautiful to add even more functionality to them. Motorized window treatments give you many great benefits over standard window coverings that you open and close by hand.
What are Motorized Blinds?
Motorized blinds and shades can be operated by a few different types of state-of-the-art motors. They may be battery-powered, solar-powered, plug-in types or hard-wired into the wiring of your home. The size of your window coverings can play a part in which type of motors will work best for your particular situation in the St. Louis area. You can control your blinds to open and close even when you are away from home with a smartphone, tablet or computer by using a very simple app that is the ultimate in user-friendly devices.
How Do Motorized Blinds Work?
Battery-operated motors for window treatments are most often the least expensive route to go. This is because you won’t incur any extra expenses from needing them to be added to wiring in your home, which can add quite a bit to the final cost in electrical costs for the setup. A good quality battery will last many years before needing to be replaced and it also depends on how much it is used as to the lifespan. If you are seeking to go green in your home and are environmentally conscious, you can choose a solar-powered option in a battery. This allows you to harness the power of the sun to control your window coverings and not incur any additional electricity charges.
Plug-in types of motors plug directly into your existing household wall circuits, so they will not need to have electrical wiring and the costs associated with it to operate. Plug and play options are maintenance-free and can even be hidden behind your window blinds, other types of window treatments or along with the window frame so they don’t interfere with your choice of decor.
Direct-wired motors have individual lines that run from each of your motorized window coverings to a central power hub that is installed inside of the walls of your home. If you appreciate out-of-sight and out-of-mind controls and hate exposed wires, this may be the option you are seeking in motorization.
Can I Motorize Existing Blinds?
The short answer to this question is in many cases yes. It does depend on the brand of your existing blinds and the age and condition they are in. If you have recently installed window blinds from one of the major manufacturers, then you can certainly upgrade to motorization in your smart home. If you like the style, decor and your existing window coverings, then it just makes sense to keep them and update them with motorization for your convenience. This will give you a whole new world of functionality in the same motorized products. The motors can not only lift and lower your blinds fully or partially, but they can also tilt the louvers for the exact amount of light, warmth and privacy that you desire at any time.
The 9 Benefits of Motorized Blinds
There are 9 benefits worth mentioning when you add motorization to your home’s window blinds.
#1. Reduced Wear and Tear
When you have standard window blinds that operate with a wand or a pull cord of any type, your expensive blinds will need to put up with tugging on them in some manner to open and close them as well as to tilt them. There is a lifting mechanism in the top of the blind that wears out more quickly when you have manual operations. Motorized blinds operate smoothly so they don’t cause damages to your window treatments and they also don’t end up loosening the hardware of your blinds, which will in turn not allow them to perform, as they should. These factors will increase the lifespan of your window treatments greatly.
#2. Whisper Quiet Operations
The original motorization choices for window coverings were quite noisy when they were operating and that was a major drawback to many homeowners. This process has been improved over the years to supply you with a whisper quiet operation so you can still hear your television or music while they are in use. The updated motors are even quieter than the noise it makes when you manually raise or lower your blinds. The motors are generally installed so that they are completely out of sight and you will never see them working so it will be very unobtrusive and seem almost like magic when they move at scheduled times.
#3. Your Choice of Preset Commands
You can easily set your blinds to open and close to any preset level that you wish as well as tilt the louvers also. You can program them to open halfway or three-quarters if that’s what you choose. You can also have your blinds open at a preset time in the mornings to let the sunshine in or have them close in the hot afternoon sun in the summer. You don’t even need to be home for the programming to work and you can decide to override any preset schedule that you want.
#4. Hard to Reach Windows Become Accessible
Do you have a beautiful skylight or a window that is behind a couch and it’s hard to reach the manual blinds? If so, you will be pleasantly pleased to learn that you can now operate your blinds on hard-to-reach windows with the simple touch of a button. You can use a wall switch, a handheld or a remote control or any smart device you may have to easily open and close these window coverings.
#5. Solar Sensors to Lower Energy Bills
Some models of window treatment motors have solar sensors for you to take complete control of your energy bill and reduce your costs all year round. Solar sensors can decide how much sunshine and warmth is coming into a room. They can close your blinds when the sunlight crosses the limits that you set up. This not only can save you a bundle yearly on your electrical costs, but it can keep your furniture, flooring and other textiles from fading, thinning and wearing out as soon. Not only can you block out the heat from the sun in the summer, but your HVAC system will not need to work as hard to cool your home and in the long run, this will extend the life of your HVAC system–a very large cost indeed.
#6. Wonderful Wireless Technology
The wireless technology of today’s window treatment motors can allow you to open or close your blinds from a different room if you wish. They contain no dangling cords that can be serious safety hazards for children and pets who may be injured by them. In addition, no dangling cords gives you a much nicer streamlined appearance. Wireless technology is the factor that allows you to control your blinds even when you aren’t at home. Another great feature of wireless motors is that you can actually program your window blinds singularly or in banks. Therefore, when the afternoon sunbeams in your home you can program all the windows on that side of your home to close and provide you with a cooling effect and the energy efficiency you crave.
#7. An Added Layer of Security
You can enhance the security of your home with motorized blinds. When you are on vacation, you can preset times for the window shades to automatically open and close throughout the day. This will make it appear as if someone is home to anyone who is watching your home and considering a break in.
#8. Additional Safety for Kids
Wireless functions are much safer for toddlers or grandchildren so they don’t get tangled in corded versions of window blinds. In addition, it makes it much easier to open or close your blinds when you are holding a child that is crying or sleeping to operate the blinds.
#9. Compatible with Window Treatments
Another great item about motorized systems is that they are compatible with many different types of window treatments and many brands that you may already have in your home. This allows you to simply add the motorization and you won’t need to spend money for new blinds in each window of your home as well.
What Items Can Be Controlled in a Smart Home?
Adding motorized blinds to your smart home can excite you with innovation in many manners. You can control many other items to work in tandem in your home wirelessly.
For security purposes, you can operate security cameras, lighting and your television to appear as if you are home at any time.
For the ultimate in energy efficiency, you can program your window treatments to close when it’s warm and you aren’t home. Then, you can program your HVAC system to come on and cool your home off before you arrive home. When you program all your heating and cooling, lighting, home theaters and entertainment systems to be off when you leave your home, you can reduce your electricity usage greatly.
Where to Get Help in Motorizing Blinds?
You should only trust a professional window treatment company that carries and installs motorization for your blinds to be upgraded. There are many factors that determine which type of motor will work best for you in your current situation and this is definitely not a DIY project for most homeowners.
What Questions to Ask a Professional
You should ask several different questions when you have a free in-home consultation to add motorization to your blinds. Ask them how durable the motor is and how long is the warranty on it. The motor may have an all-inclusive warranty for a specific amount of time and then it may be a limited warranty that doesn’t cover all the parts. This is one of the most important things to know in advance of installation because it’s the most important component of the system.
Ask about the customer service that will be available to you in the case that you need to contact someone. It’s actually very rare to need customer service on these systems, but in the rare case that you do; you definitely want to be able to get excellent service.
Ask about what remote options and apps will integrate with the motor they are recommending to you. Sub-par models may not be controllable with a smartphone, tablet or computer, but may only work with a wall switch or remote control. You also need to ask how many preset programs you can set at one time, how to override them and how many pre-programmed stops are available.
Lastly, you should ask about the noise level of the motor and how it is powered. This will give you an idea of how the motor will be installed and what all it will involve as well as how noisy or quiet your system will be.
You can find many great benefits of enlisting your smart home to have the addition of motorized blinds. If you don’t have a smart home, you can choose to motorize your blinds as the first step in the process, especially if you love technology. Many older homeowners enlist motorized blinds if they have large windows and the blinds are hard to open and close by hand. Homeowners also love the additional security, extending the life of their existing window treatments, effortless operation and the safety concept for children and grandkids.