In desiring energy saving, one may choose different treatments for windows or covering. Done not only for beautification purposes, these treatments will be able to reduce loss of heat in the winter and gain of heat in the summer. These are not effective though in air leakage reduction or infiltration. To reduce air leakage, one has to request for weather-stripping and caulking in and around windows.
One example is window awnings. These can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by more than 50% on windows, which are south facing. West facing ones may see more than 70% reduction. Awnings can be used to shade one window. Awnings can be custom made to shade an entire area or side of your homes.
Options Needed to be Redone
Most awnings in the past were done with metal or canvas. These options needed to be redone every five to seven years. Nowadays, awnings are done using fabrics like acrylic and polyvinyl laminates. As they are synthetic, they are water repellant and mildew resistant. The treatment done is also fade resistant. If you would, choose ones which are opaque and woven tightly fabrics. More sunlight is reflected with light colored ones.
Ventilation is required for awnings to keep hot air in becoming trapped. This happens a lot in windows as they end up altogether if there is no proper vents for the heat to escape. Eyelets or grommets are used for ventilation and are found along the sides and tops of awnings.Venting hot air is necessary either through the sides or top openings.
Retractable or Adjustable Properties
In winter, you can roll up awnings which have retractable or adjustable properties. By letting the sun’s warmth into the house, you end up achieving the purpose of sun heat loss or gain respectively. Making the rolling up easier is the presence of the hardware like lateral arms.
Vertical or horizontal type window blinds deal effectively better in summer heat reduction compared with its winter heat loss capability.
Making it difficult to control loss of heat in the window blinds found interiorly is due to the numerous openings between slats. Yet slats offer flexibility in the summer. Adjustments are possible in the slats to control light and ventilation unlike shades. A reduction by 45% in heat gain comes from highly reflective blinds when a sunny window is lowered or better, completely closed. And on a light colored ceiling, they can be adjusted to reflect and block direct sunlight. This light colored ceiling will use light diffusion without getting too much glare or heat.
Exterior Roller Blinds
Usually made of vinyl, steel, wood or aluminum are exterior roller blinds. Mounted above windows and guided by side channels acting as guides when lowered or raised. In meeting of the slats once lowered are they able to provide shade. When partially raised, the blinds let in air and daylight to enter care of the windows.
During summer heat, south facing windows get effective shade by utilizing properly sized and installed overhangs in the roof. Overhangs allow sunlight to get through in the windows during the winter if they are properly oriented. In turn, these provide adequate warmth inside the house.
Though tricky, the orientation of the overhang has to be considered along with its construction. One must take into mind the following factors, considered passive solar design items, to ensure maximum benefit.
- Latitude or depth from ground
- Transmittance of solar radiation
- Levels of illuminance
- Sizes and types of windows.
It is better to be mindful of overhangs before or while it is under construction. It makes it easier to incorporate into home designs. The addition of an overhang may be difficult and at times possible to do for an existing home. Alternatives to this may be better, and easier. Panels which are lattice type, patio covers which are louvred may be alternatives.