During the summer, the air conditioning system in your Virginia home must continually fight heat gain to keep you comfortable at a reasonable cost. One of the largest contributors to heat gain is the sun shining on the outside of your house, but by shading your south- and west-facing windows with the appropriate window treatments, you can keep your home cooler and add a bit of charm while you do it. Here are just a few of the best window treatments available to help reduce heat gain:
- Shades: Roll-up shades are a good option for adjustable shading, and they are inexpensive and easy to install. Choose lighter colors to reflect the most heat possible during the daytime. For a designer look, consider quilted shades, pleated shades or Roman shades, which may also offer a bit of insulation value depending on the material.
- Blinds: Horizontal mini-blinds offer a high amount of adjustability, as they can be raised or lowered and the slats opened or closed to allow for partial shading, full shading or no shading at all. They are inexpensive and can be installed easily for most common window sizes. For a bit more money, vertical blinds offer unique style and finish options, as well as a wide range of materials, some of which have an insulating effect.
- Curtains and Drapes: Insulated curtains or draperies offer an easy way to block solar radiation while adding style to your home. For the summer choose medium-colored, thick materials that have a light-colored backing to reduce heat gain by up to a third.
- Shutters: Interior or exterior shutters can be used during the daytime to block the sun and give your home a traditional look. Exterior shutters can also protect your windows during inclement weather.
- Awnings: Awnings, whether they are permanent or temporary, can provide shade from the sun while still allowing full visibility through the windows.
Besides the proper window treatments, there are many other ways to reduce heat gain in your home. To learn more, contact our staff at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning. Our service area includes Fairfax, Alexandria, Springfield, Arlington, Centreville and many of the surrounding communities.