Every homeowner is looking for the best way to conserve energy in their home. Whether it is energy efficient appliances, energy efficient plumbing fixtures, or energy saving light bulbs – each effort to improve will help your home reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills. In addition to those energy conserving methods, another way to add substantial energy conservation to your home, as well as make it a more comfortable living space, is to install solar shades on the exterior of your home. Heat gain in a home can happen in a lot of ways and every step should be taken to discourage heat gain from occurring because it necessitates the use of utilities to help regulate a home’s climate. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development explains why heat gain through windows is a problem that needs to be controlled if energy conservation is the goal, “Solar radiation’s heat gain through windows often accounts for 50 percent of air-conditioning load in the summertime. If no existing shading exists in air-conditioned spaces such as offices, community rooms, or lobbies, window shading should be considered.”
While interior shades are an effective energy conservation option, exterior window shades are much more effective. The investment in exterior window screens will enhance the architectural style of the exterior of your home while preventing harmful UV rays from entering your home which can damage interior decor, cause potential health risks and dramatically heat up your home. Forbes explains exterior sun shades are a more effective energy conservation method than interior shades, “Both interior and exterior blinds help reduce solar heat gain while maintaining desired light, ventilation and privacy. When closed and lowered on a sunny window, reflective blinds (white or near white) are capable of reducing heat gain by 45 percent. Exterior blinds are potentially even more effective than interior blinds. Unlike interior blinds, they block heat before it is transmitted through the window and warms up the room. They are tricky to add to an existing window, however, so are best left for new construction.” Reducing heat gain by 45 percent is significant but homeowners may wonder what that translates to in terms of utility bills. Make no mistake, there will be very tangible benefits to having sun screens installed to the outside of your windows, both in terms of energy conservation and comfort level within the home. The Whole Building Design Guide a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences explains how energy conservation will be reflected in utility savings and improved home comfort, ” Well-designed sun control and shading devices can dramatically reduce building peak heat gain and cooling requirements and improve the natural lighting quality of building interiors. Depending on the amount and location of fenestration, reductions in annual cooling energy consumption of 5% to 15% have been reported. Sun control and shading devices can also improve user visual comfort by controlling glare and reducing contrast ratios. This often leads to increased satisfaction and productivity.” If you are looking for a practical way to better conserve energy in your home, with the added benefit of making your home more comfortable, consider installing exterior solar shades.