Using Exterior Shading to Maximize Home Cooling

A good way to block the sun’s heat from your home is with strategic shading. You can block the sunlight from entering your windows with exterior shades, making them more effective.

When you choose your exterior shading, remember that you’ll likely need to remove them when the cold seasons hit and put them back up for the hot seasons. By doing this, you’ll protect them from damage and you’ll be able to benefit from winter heat gain. Here are some tips for keeping cool with exterior shading.

Around 40 percent of unwanted heat entering your house comes through your windows. This makes them a huge source of heat gain. And, as you may know, windows are notorious for poor insulation and air leaks.

It can cost you an arm and a leg to replace your windows with higher-quality storm windows. Also expensive is having to relocate your windows to benefit from passive cooling and solar heat gain. Fortunately, there are ways you can lower your energy bills and still increase the comfort of your home by turning your windows from energy liabilities to energy producers. Some examples include:

Seal air leaks by weatherizing your windows with weather-stripping and caulk
Install reflective window coatings
Use louvers, overhangs, shutters or vertical fins
Enhance cross-ventilation and air movement by positioning windows on opposite walls

Reduce solar heat gain with window awnings on south-facing windows by up to 65 percent and on west-facing windows by 77 percent. Select awnings that are lighter in color so they reflect more sunlight.

Exterior Roller Blinds
These blinds are typically made of steel, wood, vinyl or aluminum. You mount them above your windows and side channels guide them when you raise and lower them. Lowering the blinds completely provides shade. Partially raising them lets some daylight and air in through your windows.

Shutters provide security, ventilation, storm protection and shading all in one device. You have to integrate exterior shutters into the architecture of your home. Mounting, hinging and drainage need special consideration, but in new construction, it’s simpler to address these design issues.

Keep cool by using any of these strategies or all of them. Even if you do use your AC unit, you can still help cut back on the energy costs of using your AC unit by also using these strategies. Sometimes you need to supplement exterior cooling with interior cooling like indoor blinds, insulation and interior shutters.. In addition, a whole house fan can do wonders for keeping your house cool by pulling hot air out of your home