The topic of Uni-Blinds, the Pellini Italian blinds within double glazed units, came up between one of our installers and a FENSA inspector. According to the inspector, to which I don’t have his name yet, said that windows with Uni-Blinds in them aren’t classed as energy efficient and would condemn the whole installation.
When questioned if when the unit had low ‘e’ glass, low iron, argon gas and super spacers, the window would still be condemned.
The reason? The aluminium strip which houses the mechanism causes a cold current which acts against the heat insulating properties of the unit – making it inefficient. This, even though Uni-Blinds are classified under the same ruling as Georgian bar in the EN 1279 tests. Leaded units are also classed as efficient – despite lead on the units.
Up to press, I am lead to believe that FENSA are unable to prove how units with Uni-Blinds are inefficient, yet units with lead and Georgian bar, classed under the same testing, are efficient.
Doors or conservatories with integral blinds are exempt from this ruling.
My main gripe with all this is the damage it could do to the product. We, like many others, have used the product for years and personally I think it’s fantastic. So many selling points, it looks great, it’s modern but fits in totally with the look of any window or door. Window and door companies need every excuse to be able to sell their products, and I can say from experience that by having these Uni-Blinds at our disposal, we’ve managed to secure sales because of this great and unique product.
I invite all to input their thoughts on this, and any ideas on how installers can get round this issue in a way that will satisfy FENSA and allow units with blinds in them to be sold legally abiding by the energy efficiency guide lines. I also invite FENSA to officially confirm what their position on this is.
My personal opinion is that this is all a complete load of BS, and has no solid ground until some concrete proof can be given to prove that this is truly inefficient. But until then, we should all carry on selling them!