Summer is in the final stages, and in just a few weeks, the kids will be back to school. Unfortunately for the Okanagan, some of our hottest days are still to come. Depending on which way your house faces, you may be getting scorched by the sun in the late morning or mid-afternoon as it streams through your window.
If you’re looking for relief from the sun, there are a few options that can significant improve your situation without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways you can beat the last few weeks of strong summer heat.
How Does the Sun Heat Your Home?
The first thing to understand is how the sun heats your home. It’s fairly obvious that when the sun shines through your window, it gets warmer inside your house. This is because the suns rays are not just heating the surface they’re shining on, but also the air. Unlike the outdoors, the air in your home isn’t moving nearly as much, and the insulation in your home certainly isn’t helping the heat escape.
With intense sun shining in, you’ve created a green house effect. It’s also why opening all the windows in your home will feel cooler, as more fresh cooler air replaces the air the sun has heat up. The larger the window, and the more sun that gets through, the more pronounced the effect the sun will have on heating your room.
On a really hot day, opening the window won’t give you much relief. If you have a central air conditioning unit, you’re also using significantly more power to cool your home.
So what can you do? Block those nasty heat rays.
Energy Efficient Windows
The best thing you can do is buy windows that will help block the harmful UV rays and significantly reduce the heat that enters the home. This solution is the absolute best for maintaining an unobstructed view, while reducing the greenhouse effect. It will let the light in, but not the radiation that causes heat.
If you’re reading this article, chances are that ship has sailed, and you’re stuck with the windows you have. That’s OK, we’re only mentioning this here so that when your windows do need to be replaced, you can keep this in mind.
Curtains and Blinds
The most popular way to block the sun is by closing your curtains or blinds. The more light you’re able to block, the more you’ll reduce the heat. Blackout curtains will do the best job at blocking heat transfer, but they’re also the best at blocking the view. Generally, the more opaque the curtain or blind, the more it will block.
If you don’t have an air conditioner, open your windows and let the cool air in at night. Once morning rolls around, close the windows and blinds to keep that cool air hanging around inside as long as possible.
Curtains and blinds aren’t a perfect solution, as some heat transfer is still possible, but the reduction will be noticeable.
External Window Shades
Shading your window from the sun with an external method, usually an awning, or the horizontal wooden trellis that’s so popular in the Okanagan, is another great way to beat the heat. The key to this method is stopping the suns rays before they even hit your window.
Although you can use shutters to the same effect, you’ll be blocking the view again.
Lastly, there is DIY tinted window film you can apply, but much like the DIY tinting on a car, it’s very difficult to get right, and usually starts looking terrible after a little while. If you do go this method, try to find a professional that will install and warranty the work.
If you have any questions about how energy efficient windows can help you, drop by our showroom and our team can help you find a solution that’s right for you!