Energy efficiency matters all over the world, but it’s especially important in Florida homes. The Sunshine State is famous for its sweltering summer heat; in Jacksonville, for instance, average temperatures are well above 90 for much of the summer. For many homeowners, the only way to get through the summer is to keep the air conditioning on full blast the entire time. But if you’re not careful about saving energy, this can lead to a massive increase in your electricity bill, not to mention the impact on the environment. Luckily, you can cut down on energy use while keeping your home cool with the following window enhancements:Awnings
Awnings hang over your windows from the outside, blocking sunlight from reaching the glass. These structures can dramatically reduce the amount of heat that gets into your home. When placed on windows that face west, they lower heat gain by as much as 77 percent; on eastern windows, they lower it by 65 percent. Awnings tend to be most effective when they come in light colors, which reflect a larger percentage of the light and heat that hits them.
If you’re looking to save energy while still letting in natural light, shades are a good investment. As with curtains and drapes, you should choose shades that are white on the sides that face the glass. You should put them as close as possible to the panes so warm air cannot build up. The most effective shades tend to be Roman or Quilted roller ones, as these have multiple fiber layers to provide insulation.
Whereas shades let a fixed portion of light and heat through, blinds allow you to control how much of each enters your home. The most effective blinds are those that are light in color and made from a reflective material; as with shades, you should try to keep them as close to the windows as possible. Blinds of this sort that are closed block 45 percent of the solar heat that would otherwise warm up your home and force you to spend more electricity on air conditioning. But on cooler days when you want to let more sun into your home, you need only open the blinds and let in whatever portion of the natural lighting you think is best. In this way, blinds give you more flexibility over home lighting and energy use than any other major window enhancement.
Reflective window films directly bounce a large portion of the light and heat coming from the sun back outward. This leads to a dramatic reduction in the amount of energy you must spend on air conditioning during the summer. However, reflective films do have some serious disadvantages, notably that they make your windows hard to clean and can obstruct your view. For this reason, many homeowners opt for blinds or other window coverings instead.
All About Blinds & Shutters offers a vast selection of blinds, shades, and other window treatments to protect your home from the elements. For more information on blocking heat, letting in natural light, and otherwise maximizing the beauty and efficiency of your home, contact us today.