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Keeping the House Cool

Overview

Published: 06/20/2012

by William Roebuck

 Moveable insulated window shades fight radiant heat gain inside the house.

With warm weather teasing us again, it won't be long before we think about switching our thermostats to the cool setting. In the winter, we can keep our homes comfortable by the adjusting the inside temperature based on how cold it is outside.

In the summer, however, lowering the thermostat may not always achieve the same results. The reason is that windows, skylights and solariums allow radiant heat gain in your house. Large areas of glass, especially when facing south or west, can make a room uncomfortably warm. Flat roof skylights and angled or curved sunrooms can cause the greatest problem.

Air conditioners will pump cool air through the house, but the root of the summer heat problem often is too much direct radiant heat entering a room. Not only will the increased temperature cause discomfort, but the ultraviolet light can harm furniture, carpets or pictures.

The use of energy-efficient shading systems can solve the problem. Cellular shades expand to create pockets of trapped air, which in turn insulate against heat transfer. A consistent white backing keeps the home looking uniform from the exterior while maximizing the reflection of radiant heat.

Cellular fabrics are available in light-filtering or blackout styles. Both provide total privacy. The shades can operate from the top down or bottom up. On a window, skylight or solarium, the fabric compacts to just three per cent of its original length. The shades can be controlled by a pull cord or can be motorized. Wall-switches or hand-held remote controls are available for the motorized units.

High performance shading systems should be measured, manufactured and installed to exact specifications to ensure maximum efficiency, a proper fit and a warranty conditions.

You don't need to be uncomfortable this summer, as moveable window insulation products will help you stay cool. You also will help the environment by using less energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for this year and many more to come.

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