Windows are a great source of daylight. You can save on electricity by turning off overhead or task lighting and enjoying what the sun provides; however, this benefits turns into a trade off if the windows get direct sunlight for long periods of time because as the sun shines in your cooling system is working harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. But we’re in the twenty-first century, and we have marvelous things like energy-efficient window treatments to help manage excess heat from sun that overstays its welcome.
When selecting window coverings, no matter the window, one major consideration should be how much sunlight the window gets. Inevitably there will be one or two windows that receive a great deal more direct sunlight and require more intervention to ensure they aren’t rocketing your cooling costs. If you check a compass to note where the sun rises and sets in relation to your home that will be a great place to start. Consider what seasons your area receives more daylight and when the daylight is most intense. It could be that you merely need to ensure that curtains are closed at a certain point in the day to make a difference. But for windows that face southeast or southwest in much of the world, in the summertime that is the most brutal sun.
Interior blinds, shades, and drapes with white plastic backing are all options for energy-efficient decor. Learn about the direct sunlight your windows receive and use more aggressive methods to address the hottest windows receiving the most sun.
Exterior options for your home to help with cooling costs include awnings and shutters. These options require physical alterations to the structure of the building, will take more time to install, and will not be as decorative as the interior methods.
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