Part of the interior temperature of our house is due to the solar radiation that penetrates through our windows. When it comes to limiting or controlling the impact of the sun on windows, there are several types of sun protection for windows in the market. Knowing them and making good use of them is essential to keep the house cool. In addition, our pocket will also notice it, as we will save ourselves from continuously using the air conditioning.
The most effective way to avoid overheating due to the sun is to limit its impact at home and mainly on the windows. For the same reason, external devices are the most effective, since they prevent contact with the sun’s rays.
Today there are several solutions beyond closing the blinds or shutters, perfectly integrated with the design while offering high efficiency, and among them are the solar screens for windows which can be classified into two groups, but in this article we’ll only mention the most common ones as there is a too wide range of options to choose from, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
Obviously, this solution is only feasible in the design phase, so your architect will be the right person to help on this. This will be vital a factor, simply because it will determine the subsequent impact of the sun on your windows. Below is some important information that needs to be considered when defining the house orientation:
The architecture of your house will certainly allow fixed protections such as overhangs. They are construction elements located on the façade, usually in the upper part of the windows, in such a way that they prevent direct solar radiation on them, mainly in the central hours of the day, when the sun is higher. They can be integrated into the design of the house: the same function of a cantilever can be performed by a balcony or a terrace located on the upper floor.
Certain types of overhangs, exclusive to windows, can be installed on practically any façade.
If the window is retracted to the interior with respect to the exterior facade, it will automatically create solar protection that will depend on the distance between the surface of the window and the exterior surface of the facade. The limitation of solar radiation will affect the entire path of the sun.
Quite frequently you do not have control over the environment of the home, but it is an aspect to take into account. Annex buildings often become authentic external protectors. The negative part is the limitation of natural light, which can be very pronounced in flats located on narrow streets or if there are large differences in height.
Vegetation can have a similar effect. If you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy a home with a plot, you can plant some type of tree that protects you from the sun, if possible, deciduous so that it does not take away too much sunlight in winter. In addition, vegetation offers the secondary effect of naturally cooling the environment thanks to its ability to transpire.
They are the least efficient devices, since they are placed inside the room, behind glass. In this way, despite the fact that they offer great control and limit the direct incidence of the sun, they do not prevent the entry of solar radiation because the glass is not protected.
More suitable for winter, since they provide good insulation against heat loss through the windows, they partially fulfill their function in summer by protecting us from the sun’s rays. Most are opaque, which considerably limits the passage of light, although there are models with lighter colors, more adapted to summer but not as effective in winter.
It will depend a lot on the type of blind and its placement. Color and material can also have a considerable influence: a dark-colored PVC blind will be much less effective than a light-colored one with aluminum and expanded polyurethane sheets.
As for the location, there are times when in double-leaf windows, the blind is placed in the middle. In this way you will not have to clean them more often, but the insulation is less than if it were outside.
In the market you can find several types: interior, exterior, reflective and insulating. Exterior reflective sheets (mirror type) are the most suitable for summer while offering effective protection against ultraviolet rays and also against prying eyes.
This type of protection is quite effective, especially in large buildings with glass facades. It has the particularity of absorbing and reflecting solar radiation but without harming the entry of natural light into the interior of the building, and in the case of mobile slats, it allows the reorientation of light according to needs and the time of year.
Apart from providing an aesthetic enhancement to the façade, it also offers good protection against reflections and glare. You can choose different models: vertical or horizontal, mobile or fixed, glass or metal slats.
As in the other cases, you have different options: fixed or mobile, manual or electric, vertical, horizontal, projected, etc. The important thing is to know that it is one of the most effective sun protection methods, since it prevents the direct radiation of the rays from the envelope on the windows. Depending on the type and its location, it can also be a good rain protection system.
There are awnings whose regulation can be fully automatic, including the programming of operating hours or activation by external rain, wind and solar radiation sensors.