When considering window treatments or covers, they are not just for decoration, but also a way for you to achieve energy savings in your home. Some of the specialized treatments for windows are able to significantly prevent heat loss and decrease heat. However, it is important to know that window treatments in regards to preventing air leakage or filtration are not effective. Caulk or weather strips around your windows is seen as an efficient method to reduce air leakage.
Using awnings over your windows can result in reducing heat gain by as much as 65% in the months of summer on south-facing windows and around 77% on west-facing windows. When choosing the option of awnings for your windows, you can choose from an awning shade that will cover each of your windows or a design that is custom-made to create shade for each side or a single side of your home.
Not so long ago, most of awnings were made out of metal or canvas that typically required a re-covering in about 5 to 7 years. However, today you can purchase awnings made out of synthetic fabrics such as acrylic or polyvinyl laminates. These materials have been treated in order to resist mildew, mold and fading. In addition, the fabrics are also resistant to moisture and water. When deciding on an awning, it is always advisable to choose fabrics that are opaque and tightly woven. Lighter colors are also a better choice as they are able to reflect sunlight more efficiently.
Awnings require adequate ventilation to reduce or stop hot air that becomes trapped around the windows. The right awnings will have openings across the tops or sides or eyelets to offer ventilation. You may even prefer the awnings that open from the sides or the top in order to vent out any hot air. In winter months you will want the awnings that are adjustable or retractable which are rolled up and away to provide a way for the sun to warm up your home. The current hardware such as the lateral arms provides a way to roll up your awnings easily when not in use.
The vertical of slat-type blinds are types recognized as the most effective in regards to minimizing heat gain that occurs in summer when compared to the heat loss that occurs in winter.
The openings that occur between the slats on blinds means that controlling heat loss is difficult in regards to window blinds used inside the home. These slats however, are beneficial in summer months in association to how flexible they are. Unlike shades, slates are adjustable which means you are able to control light and ventilation. When completely closed and lowered on your windows which receive the most sunlight, these blinds reflects direct sunlight away and directs this light towards the ceiling. When your ceiling is lightly colored, the sunlight will be diffused with decreased heat or glare.
The roller blinds that are used on the outside of windows are generally made out of wood, steel, aluminum or vinyl. These types of blinds will be installed above a window and feature side channels which are what will guide them for lowering or raising. When completely lowered the blind’s slats will meet-up which offer sufficient shade. When raised partially, the blinds provide some light and airflow to access the windows. The Sydney outdoor blinds price can vary depending on which mechanism you select and also which type of fabric you choose.
Drapes have the ability to reduce heat loss or gain which will be dependent on a number or factors which includes the fabric type like closed or open weave and the color of the drapes. With the significant amount of variety, it can become confusing to generalize energy performance.
On hot days, draperies in the windows which receive the most sunlight need to be closed in order to reduce heat gain. Studies have suggested that the draperies of medium colors and white-plastic backings have the ability to reduce heat gains by around 33%. Draperies also maintain a cooler environment on hot days when compared to a variety of the types of window treatments, due to the pleats and folds which results in heat loss in association with convection processes.
When draperies are closed in colder weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from warmed rooms by about 10%. This is the reason why draperies should be closed when it gets dark and the windows that receive little or no sunlight during the day.
To minimize heat exchange or convection, draperies should be in close proximity to the actual windows. They should also be touching the window sill or floor. In order to maximize effectiveness cornices installed over draperies or positioned against ceilings offer the best benefits. To further increase their effectiveness you should seal draperies on each side and making sure that they overlap at the center. Velcro or magnetic tape can be used to attach the drapes to your walls at the sides or the bottom. Using these precautions can contribute to reducing heat loss by about 25%.
High Reflective Films
High-reflectivity films on windows help to block heat gain. However, the effectiveness of these reflective films is dependent on:
•Orientation of your windows
•The building orientation
•Do the windows feature interior insulation
Silver, mirror-like films are in many cases a better option over the colored to transparent types. East and west facing windows benefit from films as they have an increased potential in regards to heat gain due to the amount of sunlight that these windows receive. South-facing windows will be able to moderately benefit, but the north-facing windows holds no benefits.
The high-reflective films will have some disadvantages that include:
•Loss of interior light and visible transmittance
•Visibility when looking out can be impaired
•Added care is needed when cleaning these windows
Reflective films can either be applied directly over existing windows or there are window manufacturers that manufacturer this reflective glazing or glass.