Energy Saving Blinds do work: As tested by Mr Franklin
It was 15th October 2011, nothing too unusual about that date other than the fact that the weather had taken a real change to a more wintry feel. We received a phone call from Mr Franklin asking us to visit his home to talk about energy saving roller blinds, again nothing too unusual about that.
We visited his home 3 days later to discuss the style and type of blinds he had in mind, something our advisor Mick had done for thousands of clients over the 30 years of working for us.
This visit turned out to be a little different, as the expression on Mick’s face showed when he returned to the office.
“Do these energy saving fabrics really work ?”
“I know we tell customers that the blinds can reduce their winter heating bills, but has it ever been properly tested ?”
We had been promoting the benefits of blinds as energy saving for a number of years based on the evidence provided by the BBSA’s Shade Specifier, The Energy Saving Trust and Glasgow Caledonian University, but this was the first time any of our advisors had questioned what we had been telling customers.
“I’m really nervous about taking this job, Mr Franklin is a retired engineer and one of his ‘hobbies’ is to monitor the outside temperature overnight and making a record of it, and then monitoring the time the room took to reach 18 degrees and the boiler turned itself off.”
Mr Franklin had records dating back months, so he knew that if the lowest temperature overnight was 2 degrees the room would reach the desired temperature by a certain time give or take a couple of minutes and the boiler would turn itself off.
“He will only place the order if we can guarantee that the blinds will reduce the time the room takes to reach the desired temperature”
This would be a genuine real world test of what we had been saying for several years, no computer simulations and no university mock ups, a proper in home, real life test.
I loved the idea, I knew Mr Franklin would provide us with cast iron evidence that our energy saving fabrics performed the way we expected them too, or they didn’t.
He placed the order on the understanding that we would give him a full refund on the blinds if they didn’t live up to his expectations, a brave step for us with over £800 worth of blinds and not really knowing his level of expectation, but I really wanted to know the results.
The blinds were installed a week later, and our installer explained that the blinds must be closed in the early evening and kept closed all night to ensure that as much heat as possible was retained in the room.
Everyone in the whole company knew about the challenge and we were all keen to know the results. Everyday following the installation I was asked if we had heard anything from Mr Franklin.
A month went by and still nothing, we were working on the theory that no news was good news, and to be honest the staff’s interest had started to disappear.
Then the call came, six weeks after the installation “It’s Mr Franklin, it’s Mr Franklin and he wants to talk to you!”
“Mr Coleman would you care to visit me at home to discuss my findings ?”
That was it no good news, no bad news just an appointment to visit him at home.
I pulled onto his driveway feeling slightly nervous and a little excited, what’s the worst that could happen, we would take the blinds down, fill the holes and give him his money back, on the plus side this could be the moment we could genuinely say to people these blinds WILL reduce your heating bill.
“Come in Mr Coleman, I think you might find the results interesting”
There seemed to be a level of pride in his voice, maybe coming from the fact that somebody was interested in the work he had put in over the last few months.
“The results were very positive Mr Coleman, far better and more conclusive that I could have hoped for. You can see from the results that everyday no matter what the outside temperature was overnight the room reached the desired temperature far earlier than before the blinds were installed, and the colder it got overnight the bigger the improvement.”
I’m not sure whether he heard my sigh of relief, but he could tell by the smile on my face that was exactly what I wanted to hear.
“You’re faith in your products was well placed Mr Coleman, Thank you for your help and advice and I hope you have found my figures useful”
I certainly did and now I can say without a shadow of a doubt that WINDOW BLINDS WILL REDUCE YOUR WINTER HEATING BILLS !