Summer Shades for Your Home
June 22, 2022
Summer Shades for Your Home
With summer just around the corner, you may find yourself thinking about how you can best protect yourself from the heat, and keep your home cool and livable without racking up a huge air conditioning bill. Window shades are an essential tool for keeping heat out of your home; by partially or completely blocking the summer sun’s rays from entering your living spaces, you dramatically reduce the amount of heat that gets transferred into your home. While basically any window shade or covering will provide at least some protection from heat, a few types of covering can do this job most efficiently.
Blackout shades or curtains will fully and completely block the sun’s rays from entering your home, and can be very cost effective. You can maximize the cooling and insulating capacity of these coverings by choosing shades that are light-coloured or white on the side that faces out to the window; this will reflect away more light and further reduce the amount of heat transferred into your home.
If you dislike the thought of blocking out the summer sun entirely, or disrupting a pleasant view, solar shades might be a good option for you. Made of perforated or open-weave material, solar shades significantly reduce heat gain, glare, and UV ray penetration into a room, while still allowing in light and permitting you to see outside. You may want to combine solar shades with another window treatment like drapes for more privacy at night.
If you are comfortable with a more permanent light-reducing option and solar shades are not in your budget, you may want to consider tinting your windows. By adding a thin film of tinted laminate to the inside of the window, you can block out a great deal of the sun’s heat and reduce the amount of light and glare inside your home. Window tinting can be a great add-on option if you have window treatments you like, but you need to reduce solar heat transfer.
Shutters, both interior and exterior, can not only block light as effectively as blackout shades and curtains, but also act as a window-insulating system. Exterior shutters can provide additional benefits in storm-prone areas, by protecting your expensive windows in high winds, and can add a pleasing visual element to the building’s façade.
Finally, it’s very likely that your home already has some basic horizontal blinds, and these are actually quite effective at keeping your home cool in the summer. While the slat construction allows air to circulate around the blinds, so they aren’t excellent insulators, they do block sunlight very effectively and are easy to adjust to your preferred light levels.
As you can see, your window treatments can have a big impact on how warm or cool your home is in the summer. It’s worth considering how to maximize the sun-blocking value of your shades and curtains, and thus minimize your energy bills.