Believe it or not, 40% of energy is wasted through our doors and windows!
So, in order to utilize energy more efficiently, we need to start with our doors and windows. And in the summer time, that means also dealing with the source of the heat - the sun!
There are three basic ways how energy is transmitted: conduction, convection, or radiation. Here, we will be focusing on radiation since it is how energy gets from the sun to the earth, and it is also how energy moves from outside your windows to inside your house.
Assuming the walls and ceiling of your house are well insulated, the major source of energy going into your house is through your windows in the form of light (sunlight).
There are three major groups of light in the sun light - infrared, visible light, and UV ray.
When light travels through the glass of your window, infrared is absorbed by the glass and transformed into heat that warms up your window. Visible light and UV ray go through the glass and are absorbed by the solid surfaces within your house. This absorbed energy then is transformed into heat that warms up your entire house, especially the high-energy UV ray.
Shade Your Windows!
Now, there are two ways to shade your windows. We can shade them from the outside, or the inside. Between the two, shading from the outside is much more effective than from the inside.
When we shade the windows from the inside (blinds, curtains..etc), we are only partially shading the house. The sunlight hits the windows and heats them up, it then enters the room and heats up the shading devices and the space between them and the windows. (See drawing) Think you are shading your house? Think again! These three elements (window glass, shading devices and the space in between) act like a heater and constantly heat up your house.
Exterior shading devices, however, stop the light before it touches your windows. And because the shading devices are installed outside your house, the constant airflow takes away the heat on the shading devices. The heat never has a chance to come inside your house, not even onto your windows!
There are many kinds of shading devices available for you. Take a look at different exterior shading options that you can use to shade your window!
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