It’s mild to warm to hot in the Houston area year round. How are you reducing solar heat gain? You can keep this culprit of heightened indoor temperatures at bay with energy-efficient window treatments. Here’s how to keep the sun out and the cool in.
Awnings and Roof Overhangs
Shade south- and west-facing windows by installing awnings. These are available in a number of materials, most commonly including metal, canvas and synthetic fabrics. A pergola over the porch also can serve to shade the back door.
Similarly, roof overhangs are effective at blocking heat gain through south-facing windows. The ideal orientation blocks the high-angle summer sun while still allowing the lower winter sun to shine in.
Exterior shutters are decorative, but they also can provide window insulation and block sunlight when covering the windows. Louvered shutters, which you can install on either the inside or outside of your home, are the best at blocking sunlight.
Blinds and Shades
Both vertical and horizontal slat-type blinds are effective at reflecting solar heat to the outside and preventing sunlight from shining directly into your home. Blinds let you easily control how much light enters the room. When completely closed, they reduce heat gain by about 45 percent.
Roller and Roman shades are especially effective at adding insulation to the window because of several fiber batting layers and sealed edges. Lower the shades on sunny windows during the day to make the most of these energy-efficient window treatments.
Thick, darkly colored drapes with a white, reflective backing are the most effective at reducing heat gain. Draw the drapes over windows that receive direct sunlight to block 33 percent of the heat gain through that window.
East- and west-facing windows are the most effective places to install window films because of the direct sunlight that shines through them. Since they also block winter heat gain, window films are ideal for the Houston area climate and our long cooling season.
If you like these ideas for energy-efficient window treatments, please contact us at Valderrama A/C & Refrigeration for other cooling tips. We’ve served South Houston and the surrounding area for more than 28 years.
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