With summer fast approaching, now is the time to prepare your home for the onslaught of the hot sun. With the cost of electricity constantly rising, making additions to your home which reduce the need to run your air conditioning unit is a smart way to reduce your bills and create a more passive energy footprint for your home.
Some of the biggest offenders for allowing the summer heat to enter your home are the windows. Replacing them can be a big expense, and can also involve a lot of disruption and mess. Fortunately, it's possible to significantly reduce the heat transference via your windows with a few simple additions. Here are two of the best additions for the job.
1. Window awnings
Awnings are generally made from either fabric or aluminium. They are attached to the exterior of your home, and effectively act as shade hoods for your windows. They minimise the amount of sun that will hit your window panes, while still allowing plenty of natural, diffused light to come through.
Awnings have the added benefit of acting as weather protectors for your windows during rainy and windy periods as well as during the hotter months. They can also make a stylish and attractive addition to the external look of your home.
Awnings come in two main types; fixed awnings and moveable awnings. Fixed awnings, such as fabric or metal canopies or aluminium louvres, are well suited for use on smaller windows and second floor windows. Moveable awnings, such as drop arm awnings or roll up awnings, are perfect for larger windows and for when you want to be able to control the amount of sunlight entering your home as the seasons change.
2. Window film
Window film is a thin, adhesive product which is placed directly onto the glass of your windows. It recreates the heat reflecting properties of having your windows tinted, but is available for a fraction of the cost at your local hardware store. It's simple and quick to apply, and even a novice at DIY can do it with ease.
The film acts by adding a reflective layer to your windows. This will bounce back the heat from the sun and also deflect the harmful UV rays that fade fabrics and carpets. Window film also works in reverse, and helps to insulate your home during the colder months by preventing heat loss through your windows.
Both of these additions will greatly reduce the amount of summer heat that enters your home via the windows. Combining the two will have an even greater impact on both your home's heat levels and the cost of keeping it cool.