Keep Your House Cool With These Window Treatments

In the summer, ceaseless use of air conditioning can lead to staggering electricity bills. Fortunately, window shading installations like awnings, solar shades and draperies can keep your house cool and your bills in check.

The Department of Energy (DOE) says window shading can reduce solar heat gain in your house by up to 77 percent. Likewise, this same practice can reduce heat loss in the cold months. Here are five efficient window shade ideas to get your house ready for the summer heat.


Ideal locations: South- and west-facing windows

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gains by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows, and up to 75 percent on west-facing windows.

Modern awnings are made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic and polyvinyl laminates. These materials are water-repellent and are resistant to fading and mildew. Choose an awning that’s opaque and tightly-woven because a light-colored awning will reflect more sunlight. 

While an awning can save you energy during the summer, make sure to retract or remove it during the winter. This will allow lower-angle winter sunlight to reach your windows, thus saving on internal heating.


Ideal locations: Any window orientation is suitable

Installing shutters is one of the most effective ways to reduce solar heat gain.

Shutters have openings that allow visibility through the window. Remember that the larger the opening, the less solar protection the house gets. Most shutters are manually-operated, though some can be opened or closed using a switch.

Roller shutters are most effective in blocking sunlight. They are usually mounted above the window, with side channels guiding them as they’re being raised or lowered. If partially raised, they will allow some air and daylight inside. If completely closed, their slats meet and provide total shade. Heavier fabrics will typically offer better thermal performance.


Ideal locations: South- and west-facing windows

When closed and lowered on a sunny day, white (and off-white) blinds can reduce solar heat gain by up to 45 percent. Blinds can reduce heat gain while still maintaining the desired sunlight, ventilation and privacy. Window blinds are more effective in reducing heat gain in the summer than diminishing heat loss in the winter.


Ideal locations: Any window, because of their flexibility

Drapes are also effective in protecting your house against sunlight. The darker and heavier the fabric, the more heat it spurns. Medium-colored curtains with white plastic backing can reduce heat by up to 33 percent. Drapes stay cool during the summer because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection.

Like other window shades, drapes need a tight seal for maximum heat protection. 

Solar shades

Ideal locations: Any window orientation is suitable

The DOE says solar shades are one the simplest and most effective window treatments.

Indoor solar shades act like sunglasses for your windows. They control the entry of sunlight while still giving you a beautiful view of the outdoors. They allow ample light to pass while providing you with increased privacy. They block the sun’s harmful UV rays that damage your house’s furniture.

Window shades not only enhance your home’s interior, they also provide long-lasting relief for your air conditioning unit. Save on electricity today by installing efficient window shades at home.

We, in Total Window, offer nothing but carefully woven and engineered solar shades. Our team at Total Window is composed of full-time, in-house employees who are familiar with how our window shading installations are designed and built. Let our technicians take care of your window needs. 

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