Summer is coming, and having solar shades installed is one way to cut down on air conditioning bills and beat the heat. Most homeowners want airy, light-filled home interiors, and the way to get them is with soaring, expansive windows. These are satisfying until the heat of July becomes a reality, and your towering windows allow your home to heat up like a goldfish bowl left out in the midday sun. But you don’t want to compromise your view, especially since summer is only three months of the year. What can you do? Get solar shades. |
Match Your Needs to the Type of Shade
Solar shades are so-called because of their ability to selectively block the sun’s rays, but not your ability to see out — sort of like sunglasses for your windows. They come in three main types — light, dark and high performance.
-Light shades let in the most light — that’s easy to remember. Often seen in shades of beige or taupe, these shades are effective at deflecting heat. They help you to keep your rooms cooler while still allowing in ample light.
-Dark shades provide for more of a natural view of the outdoors, but they don’t block as much heat. Some fabrics will block more than 90 percent of the light coming into your home, making for excellent glare control, however.
-High-performance shades offer the benefits of dark and light shades without the drawbacks. Constructed of material with reflective backing, high-performance shades are excellent at keeping unwanted heat out of your living space. This backing is not visible from the indoor side, so homeowners can choose the color and type of shade they want irrespective of heat-reducing properties. High-performance shades also cut glare and UV rays, all while allowing you a crystal-clear view of the great outdoors.
Consider the Openness Factor
The secret to the technology behind solar shade is the openness factor. The degree of openness is measured by the tightness of the fabric’s weave — literally, how much open space is left between threads. You can give yourself a demonstration of this type of function by holding up various pieces of clothing or sheets to the light — you will see that high thread counts and tightly woven fabrics are harder to see through, and light, gauzy garments are practically transparent. The openness factor on solar shades ranges from 1 percent to 25 percent, with the lower end of the scale recommended for Utah residents. While enhancing the look of solar shades with curtains, draperies or other types of fabric is a common option, a sleek, clean design is also popular today. If you opt for the latter, a useful, aesthetically pleasing included feature is a cassette, which neatly conceals the roller mechanism. Sometimes billed as a valance, this component blends seamlessly into the design, deftly hiding any and all hardware.
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