16.11.2012 0

Reduce Energy Consumption Using Solar Shading Solutions

With the cost of energy rising to the highest we have ever seen leading to an increased strain on finances, it is essential that some adequate precautions are taken to help reduce the amount of power consumed within homes and businesses. As such, one of the most effective methods of reducing the costs is to provide solar shading solutions such as sun awnings over bright windows.

Energy Consumption

Generally speaking, we tend to expect high energy bills during the cold winter months as the central heating is cranked up and the darker nights mean more electricity must be consumed for longer periods to provide light to our inside spaces.  In a bid to make homes more environmentally friendly, changes in building regulations have led to a significant increase in the levels of insulation that must be installed into new build properties to keep the running costs as low as possible and as such significant reductions in energy use have now been created.

What is Solar Shading?

“Solar shading” is basically the process of providing shade to areas of a building with the purpose of restricting the amount of heat from the suns UV rays that can enter a given space.

Although not an obvious solution for the UK market, during the hotter summer months the use of solar shading will have a dramatic effect on the temperature inside of a building. With all the additional insulation used to construct modern buildings, heat that enters the space through windows and doors (known as solar gain) can make a building uncomfortably hot as it is essentially trapped.  However with the installation of shading designed to restrict the amount of light and heat entering the building, energy saving can be made due to the fact that electrical items such as air conditioning units and fans do not need to be run for as long to maintain a comfortable inside temperature.

Types of Solar Shading

In many parts of the world, the use of window shutters is the most popular solution however for the UK market this is not really practical due to the design of our houses and inclement weather. As such, some of the most popular products are

Window Blinds

Available in many forms, the use of a window blind is a cost effective solution to restricting the amount of heat entering a building. The drawback to this system is that they completely block any view in or out of the building and are therefore not suited for use in commercial offices and shops.

Tinted Glass

Modern glass is available in options that will actively filter the uv rays therefore preventing heat them passing into a building. However, due to the astronomical costs associated with the manufacture of such a product, this form of solution tends to be installed into prestigious office developments and retail outlets.

Retractable Awnings

An extremely versatile product that is both affordable to the masses and provides extremely high levels of shading. With a wide range of sizes available, large windows and doorways can be covered with ease. Unlike windows blinds, because a retractable sun awning is fixed outside the building, a clear view is still possible through the windows making it the ideal solution for providing shading to shop fronts, cafe`s and restaurants.

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