Tips for shading your windows during the colder months

Phantom Screens / August 4, 2016

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Even when the summer is coming to an end, you’d be wise to consider shading solutions for your windows and patio doors. While it’s true that most problems with too much natural light in the house occur during the warmer, sunnier months of the year, if you don’t have the right practical design set up for fall and winter, you can run into the same issues even as the hours of daylight diminish.

Year-round shading solutions

Fortunately, many of the methods and products you use to block natural light during the spring and summer can be applied during the fall and winter as well. Retractable screen systems are sometimes considered warm weather-only products, but they can help protect your house from the certain elements all year long.

Home energy efficiency during the fall and winter

The fall and winter also present new challenges when it comes to making your home more efficient both in terms of cost and protecting the environment. Having the sun pouring in through your large picture windows, for instance, can throw your indoor temperature control out of whack, especially if you’ve installed new temperature monitoring systems in your home. Window treatments can provide an effective block from unwanted natural light, while also giving you another decorative option. As wonderful and life-nourishing as the sun is, it can also be an annoyance you can easily deal with through a well laid-out floorplan.

Shading strategies

Maximize your home’s utility through during the colder months is actually very easy. By following a few simple steps recommended by United States Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, you will find that your energy bills are reduced and your living spaces are more comfortable.

  • Exterior shading: Look for places outside your home where you can use overhangs, screens or natural shading elements to manage sunlight. If you properly implement this strategy it can have the added benefit of protecting your home from wind, rain and snow.
  • Prioritize windows on the west and south for shading: These are the directions where the sun will be at its most intense for the longest period of time. By focusing more effort and resources here, you will be able to better manage the way light flows into your home.
  • Consider glare: Glare can be just as big of an issue as temperature (although, they are often related). Check to see which surfaces in your home are hit the hardest by the sun and implement design ideas to mitigate that effect. For instance, if a cabinet is getting too much direct sunlight the color of the surface may fade. To fix that, you could use a retractable screen to block the window where the excess glare is coming from.