When it comes to window coverings or treatments they can serve the purpose of not only a decoration but also to save energy in the home. A few of the specialized window treatments have the ability to decrease heat in the summer as well as heat loss in the colder months of winter. However, the window treatments are not effective when it comes to preventing air infiltration or leakage and weather strips or caulk around the windows is one of the most effective ways to decrease air leakage.
Awnings for windows have the potential to minimize heat gain by 65% in the summer for your south-facing windows or 77% for your west-facing windows. You can choose awning shades for each window or choose from a custom-made design that can be used to create shade for one side of the home.
In previous years the majority of the awnings were constructed out of canvas or metal that usually required re-covering every 5 to 7 years. The awnings today are now available in synthetic fabrics like polyvinyl laminates or acrylic which have been treated to resist fading and mildew as well as being water resistant. When choosing an awning it is best to go with a fabric that is tightly woven and opaque and keep in mind that the lighter colors will be able to reflect the sunlight more.
An awning needs the necessary ventilation in order to prevent hot air becoming trapped in the area of the windows. The awning should feature openings across the sides or tops or eyelets to provide ventilation. You can even choose from the awnings that open up from the top or sides to vent out the hot air.
In the winter time the retractable or adjustable awnings can be rolled up to allow the sunlight to warm the home. The latest hardware like lateral arms ensures that the technique of rolling up the awning is a simple process.
Slat-type horizontal or vertical blinds are the types that are regarded as more effective when it comes to decreasing heat gain in the summer months compared to heat loss in winter.
Due to the various openings between slats on these blinds, it is not easy to control the loss of heat when it comes to interior type window blinds. However, these slats are beneficial in the months of summer due to their flexibility. Unlike the shades, the slats can be adjusted to control ventilation and light. When these blinds are lowered and completely closed on a window that receives a lot of sunlight they are able reflect the direct sunlight away onto the ceiling. If the ceiling is a light color this light is diffused with minimal glare or heat.
Roller blinds used on the exterior of windows are typically constructed out of steel, vinyl, aluminum or wood. They are installed above the windows and the side channels are what guides them to be raised or lowered. When lowered completely the slats meet up providing sufficient shading. When partially raised these blinds allow for airflow and some daylight to come through the windows. The Sydney outdoor blind prices can vary from supplier to supplier and also depends on the width, drop and some other factors.
The abilities of drapes to decrease heat gain or loss will be dependent on various factors which will include the type of fabric such as open or closed weave as well as the color. With the extensive variety available, it becomes difficult to generalize their energy performance.
On summer days, draperies in windows that receive a lot of sunlight should be closed to decrease heat gain. Specific studies suggest that draperies made out of a medium color along with a plastic-white backing are able to decrease heat gain by up to 33%. The draperies also have the abilities to remain cooler in the summer months compared to various other window treatment types due to their folds and pleats that cause heat loss through the process of convection.
When closed in cold weather, the majority of the conventional draperies are able to prevent heat loss out of a warmed room by around 10%. For this reason these draperies need to be closed at night as well as on the windows that won’t receive sunlight in the day time.
To decrease heat convection or exchange, the draperies need to be positioned as close as possible to the windows. In addition, they need to fall onto the floor or the window sills. To improve effectiveness it is advisable to install cornices over the draperies or place draperies directly against the ceilings. This should be followed by sealing the draperies on both sides and ensuring they overlap in the middle. Magnetic tape or Velcro works well to attach drapes directly to the walls on the bottom and sides. These added precautions can result in a reduction of heat loss of around 25%.
High Reflective Films
Window films of high-reflectivity assist in blocking out heat gain in the summer months. In addition, these films also work well in the winter as they block the heat from the sun in winter. The effectiveness of reflective films will depend on:
•The size of the glazing area on a window
•The orientation of the window
•Does the window have interior insulation?
The mirror-like silver films are in most cases a more effective option compared to the transparent or colored ones. The west and the east facing windows are able to benefit from the films due to their higher potential associated with heat gain. The south facing windows can benefit somewhat but north facing windows will not benefit.
- These high-reflective films have a few disadvantages which include:
- Loss of visible transmittance and interior light
- Visibility outside may be impaired
Additional care is required when cleaning the window
The reflective films can be applied over an existing window and a few of the window manufacturers also manufacturer reflective glass or glazing.