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BENEFITS OF EXTERNAL SUN SHADING
BENEFITS OF EXTERNAL SUN SHADING SAVE MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Passive solar will make your home more comfortable; you will save money on your energy bills and will protect the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuel energy. In Australia, heating and cooling of the house uses almost 50% of household energy requirements. A low energy home requires little or no heating and cooling by artificial means; it maintains a comfortable temperature purely because of its design. Tests have shown energy efficient homes can be up to 10 degrees cooler in summer and 5 degrees warmer in winter. OVER 8 MONTHS OF SUN IN PERTH West Australians have to consider sun control as Perth has over 8 months of hot sun, a short winter and according to the Bureau of Meteorology, only 30 days of heavy rain. The orientation of your home can help by optimising solar gain. Large glazed areas are best on the north elevation of any home in the Southern Hemisphere. During summer, the sun is high in the sky so it is easy to shade the window or sunroom with a horizontal shade and during winter the low sun will warm the room and reduce the need for extra heating. YOUR CAN KEEP YOUR WATER VIEW Conventional advice is that you should have little or no glazing facing east and west. If you are living on the sunset coast or have spectacular river or hill outlooks, you will naturally want to take advantage of that view. External vertical screens fitted with a see-through fabric will provide the best solution, keeping the heat out of the home without blocking the view. They must cover the whole window to keep out the low morning and evening sun. ALMOST 1000 WATTS OF SUN PER METRE OF WINDOW Over 25% of heat gain in summer comes from the windows. Every 1.25 square metres of unshaded window will allow 1000 watts of radiant heat from the sun into your home, around the same amount of heat generated from a small electric heater. It is always better to stop the sun’s heat from reaching the glass rather than deal with the problem once the heat has entered your home. In summer, external shading is much more effective at keeping your home cool than internal blinds or curtains. EXTERNAL SHADES ARE BEST Nick Hollo, author of Warm House, Cool House, states that “the most effective shading is external. If the shading is inside, the sun’s heat already passes through the glass and warms the blinds and the architraves”. In Australia most homes are fitted with single glazed windows and doors which means that there is nothing to prevent any heat build up from radiating from the glass and into the home. Double glazing can reduce the amount of heat getting through but the most effective way is fitting an external screen or shade to prevent the rays hitting the glass. Reflective films are also available but they cut out the winter sun thus keeping the home cold and dark. PROTECT YOUR HOME AND FURNITURE FROM DAMAGING UV RAYS The sun’s rays will fade your furniture and floor coverings. Many home owners try to prevent damage to the home by keeping blockout curtains and blinds drawn throughout summer, reducing the functionality of their home during the day. You don’t necessarily need to do that with MOVEABLE EAVES AND VERANDAHS TO CONTROL HEAT Horizontal, retractable folding arm awnings provide an alternative for the traditional colonial and federation verandas that were an essential part of controlling heat in the home before the days of air conditioning. The downside of a broad veranda is that the home feels dark and cold during winter. With the increase in population of contemporary homes, people are also looking at an alternative to the traditional pergola. A retractable folding arm awning will extend to provide shade and increase your living area in summer, but it will fold away into a cassette box during the winter to let more light into the home. Another advantage of having a retractable system is that you don’t need council or planning permission, as it is not a fixed structure, this can save weeks in your schedule. BEAT THE FREO DOCKER/DOCTOR In summer, west Australians also have to deal with the Fremantle Doctor; the perfect sunny afternoon can become an uncomfortable experience when the sea breeze blows. Tensioned sunscreens will provide shade to a patio area and cut out the wind without disrupting the view with any strings, poles and pulleys. DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE GLASS Sunrooms are wonderful to incorporate a bright and natural environment into your home and will bring the outside inside, blurring the division between home and garden by providing a natural extension. Because of the intense sun in summer, people are afraid of having a large expanse of glass. Sunroom manufacturers can now produce standard add-on rooms which can have external sun shades fitted to provide year round comfort. Sun shades are the future of climate control, extending to give cool summer comfort and retracting to provide bright winter warmth. West Australian company Issey Sun Shade Systems specialises in providing external and retractable sun shade solutions for windows, doors, patios, balconies, skylights and sunrooms. All systems are custom designed and built in Osborne Park and sold throughout Australia. Optional motors and accessories are available for must systems providing fingertip or sun and wind sensitive control.
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