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Energy Saving Window Shutters and Blinds

Window coverings help reduce heat loss, making your home more efficient.

These days, now so more than ever with the rising cost of energy, families are looking to save anything they can when it comes to heating costs. Rapidly rising utility bills have become an increasing concern, so it could now be the time to think about a more energy efficient window covering, such as energy saving window shutters or blinds, to help minimise the impact.

Loft and wall insulation, along with double glazing, are now considered a given with many UK homes, but there is so much more that can be done to make our homes more energy efficient. Choosing a better insulated window covering is another step in that process.

Homes lose heat through windows in four main ways:

  • Conduction – Direct heat loss of heat through a window
  • Convection – The cold surface of the glass cools the air inside
  • Radiation or re-radiation – The cold surface of the glass absorbs the heat from the air in the room
  • Air leakage – Heat loss through the gaps in the frame or poorly installed glazing

Both shutters and blinds have now been recognised by the UK government as energy saving technologies, with their design constantly being perfected from those window coverings that have been in existence for centuries.

Automating either blinds or shutters can make them even more effective, as they can alternate between changing weather conditions at the press of a button.

Whether that be in warmer summer months, or during the cold of winter. They can also be operated remotely via an app, keeping your home that little bit warmer if the weather changes unexpectedly.

Solar Shading Helps Reduce Energy Consumption

Solar shading is a term that many of us will not be familiar with. However, the phrase is closely associated with the use of window coverings such as energy saving window shutters. Choosing the correct form of solar shading helps to reduce the amount of energy used throughout the home, by:

  • Keeping heat inside during cooler times of the year (meaning radiators can be turned down)
  • Filtering warming sun rays helping rooms stay cooler in summer (reducing need for HVAC – Heating, Ventilators and Air Conditioning)
  • Distributing natural light in a more efficient way, reducing the need for electric lighting
  • Reducing fading effect of the sun’s rays on furnishings and fabrics

Four simple steps to reduce lost energy from your home

Four Simple Steps to Save Energy

The Technical Details of Heat Loss

U-values give an indication as to how much heat is being lost by any object, the lower the U-value the more energy efficient the object is.

Taking the normal type of double glazed windows that most of us have in our homes, the U-value will be around 2.9. The addition of an internal blind will reduce this to 2.1, so leads to an overall improvement of around 30%. However, if internal window shutters are used, this shrinks further to a U-value of just 1.9, leading to an even greater saving of heat in the home.

The lower the U-value, it shows the material used is a better insulator and therefore more energy efficient. At the end of the day, that means less money has to be spent on heating bills.

As an example, if we take a 20m2 single glazed house, the temperature difference from inside to outside can be as much as 10 degrees Celsius.

Research has shown beyond doubt that blinds made from energy saving materials are incredibly effective in the prevention of heat loss through windows.

Read More from BBSA

Changing The Way We Think About Window Treatments

With climate change proving to be a constant in today’s world, the days are now long gone when seasons are so clearly defined, so knowing how to improve the energy efficiency of our homes is now a major consideration.

Making windows as energy efficient as possible through methods such as double glazing has gone a long way to helping UK homeowners achieve savings on their utility bills. With the government’s change to the way in which energy is capped however, there is much more that needs to be done in the home, without having to sacrifice any of the attractive features that often come with windows in older properties, such as sash windows and bays.

Windows are a known source of heat loss in properties and choosing the correct window treatment can provide much needed insulation. Shutters and blinds are more than just an aesthetic choice, they are also an energy saving one.

Reducing the U-value through windows is part of a much larger project in your home to help it match up with the changing nature of the world. Warmer spring and autumn months mean longer days, more varied weather patterns and when using modern technology such as thermal imaging cameras, we can see the importance of this activity even more.

Thermal Imaging Visual

(Thermal Imaging Representation of Home Heat Loss)

The Importance of Solar Shading in properties of all types

When it comes to home insulation, it is not just older properties that need to be taken into consideration. Newer homes are often constructed with solar shading in mind, but cost saving from developers mean that the cheapest option window covering is usually included as the bare minimum, and sometimes not even that.

It does not matter how good or how new the double glazing solution is in your property, the technology to reduce heat loss even further is still under-utilised. Not only can it have a major impact on improving thermal comfort and energy consumption, it can also improve quality of life within the home.

While it is something we are probably all aware of, most people don’t really consider the varying amounts of the sun’s radiation that affects us and our homes on a daily basis, varying based on time and severity of exposure. Although the sun’s intensity varies throughout the day, it still affects us and our homes. Better solar shading can help to control the amount that enters our homes on a daily basis.

While older properties can get very cold due to poor insulation, such as quaint countryside cottages and beautiful Georgian townhouses, many new builds can experience the opposite, becoming too hot in summer due to overly efficient insulation. As a result, both require a need for the Solar Shading and additional insulation provided by a window covering such as shutters.

Whatever window coverings are used on our windows and façades, they need to be able to cope with whatever the weather throws at us, allowing us to maximise the free heat provided by the sun, or minimise its impact when it becomes too unbearably hot. Finding the best balance for each individual need is key.

Watch the BBSA Video

Ways in Which Solar Shading Can Help Us

More and more, homeowners need to be smarter when it comes to energy efficiency, making every penny count when it comes to rising utility bills. Energy saving window shutters can help you save money, but there are also other benefits to consider as well.

In addition to increased privacy and fantastic light control, at S:CRAFT we also know from our 20 years of experience that other factors can be just as relevant.

For example:

  • By reducing heat loss during winter and autumn, the home’s ambient temperature remains more constant, meaning reaching for the thermostat less
  • Introducing home automation and smart technology means that prolonged periods away from home do not need to be a logistical challenge – either for perceived security or for heat loss
  • Reducing heat loss means relying less on artificially heating the home, thus reducing our carbon footprint by decreasing harmful emissions
  • Business owners that use energy efficient shutters and blinds have the added advantage of being able to have a more precise control over light and temperature, an important part of any Health and Safety assessment
  • If it is a new property, then it is the perfect time to talk about solar shading, as shutters and blinds can be considered and incorporated during the design stage
  • Heat loss should be considered across the home for maximum energy efficiency – through walls, doors, roof, and windows

Each property has its own individual needs, and commercial premises are no different, hence why relying on expert advice will potentially save future costly mistakes.

There are many different styles and colours to choose from with energy saving window shutters and blinds from S:CRAFT, so blending in with any age of property or décor is not a problem. Regardless of the property’s age, there is no excuse for not getting the most out of a window covering.

Contact your local S:CRAFT stockist to find out more.

Contact your local S:CRAFT Stockist

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