When it’s summer time in the US, most of us experience the blazing heat of the sun. While many of us happily enjoy outdoor activities and sports during this season, some of us try to avoid the heat altogether and prefer to stay inside to keep cool, relax and enjoy time with our families - without sweating!.
In the middle of summer, it's easier said than done, the sun can be relentless and the temperatures inside the home can soar.
According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, 76% of the sunlight inside our home enters through the window pane. This sunlight pounds against the windows, builds up into heat and causes our home’s natural cooling system to be affected and in turn, the air conditioning be cranked up to 10!.
So what’s the answer? Good quality, well fitted window coverings.
Window Coverings To Block Heat Coming Into The Home
There are plenty of options when it comes to window coverings, and this is both a blessing and a curse. Too many options cause confusion - so what are the best types for your room, how much should you spend and where can you buy them?
Cellular shades are one of the most commonly used window coverings in the USA. These types of shade contain air pockets which act as an insulator and reduce the conduction of heat entering through the window, allowing you to feel cool.
Thermal curtains can be a real lifesaver because they don't only block heat, they also reduce the light that enters through your window by up to 90%. Just make sure you choose thermal curtains with blackout technology for even better results.
Roman Shades are another of the most popular choices among consumers because of their elegance and efficiency. Roman shades are energy efficient because they filter the sun's rays that come in through the window, (especially during the summer), helping to reduce your energy bills.
Exterior Shutters And Shades
Just like the other window treatments already mentioned, you rarely go wrong with shutters and shades because they equally reduce your house’s heat. This type of window treatment varies in materials, some being made of fabrics, others wood, steel or vinyl, all of which are completely dependent on what you are trying to achieve (as well as your budget).
Roller Shutters are manually operated blinds which are installed above the window. This is a great choice if you want privacy, security and protection inside your homes. They can also be manipulated or be partially raised to allow some air to go through or allow the sunlight to pass through. They can also be effective in reducing your house’s solar heat gain.
Shades, on the other hand, can be made of fabric or vinyl materials. They can also vary in style and texture and are great in reducing heat. They are also easy to operate and are best in filtering the light that comes through your window.
Blinds can also be a good window treatment for blocking the heat. However, the size of the blinds must fit the window properly for the best results. If the blinds are the wrong size, they will not fully block the heat and not serve their purpose.
Roller blinds are made up of solid sheets of fabric and are considered more effective at blocking heat than other types of blinds. These fabrics, which are often made up of blackout materials repel the heat and stop it from entering our windows, helping us to keep cool.
Vertical Blinds are a great option, too. They vary in materials, such as wood, vinyl, plastic or metal. This window treatment effectively blocks the hot air from entering and prevents it from circulating inside the room. Vertical blinds can also provide better insulation while you are inside your home.
Awnings That Block Sun’s Heat
One of the great ways to reduce solar heat inside your house is by using awnings. An awning or canopy is made of a sheet of material such as synthetic fabrics which is stretched on an outdoor frame to keep the heat of the sun (or the rain) from entering the windows. Awnings can help you reduce heat gain during the summer, just make sure that you adjust your awning depending on the season.
While all of the options listed in this article are a possibility and great at blocking the heat of the sun, you also need to consider other things such as color, texture and the room’s functionality.
Always remember that any heat entering our homes, especially during summer time, comes from the window. While you can always crank up the air conditioning, try to explore the different window treatment options and save yourself some money on energy bills.