A Solar Shade Reduces Glare and Improves Energy Efficiency
A solar shade, also called solar screen, is a type of roller window shades generally made from a synthetic mesh fabric, like a screen. Solar window shades come in different levels of opaqueness, or openness, depending on how much light control you desire - the higher the percentage of openness of the solar shade, the more light the shade lets in. Solar screens are an excellent option for windows with a view. Solar screens reduce glare and improve energy efficiency by reducing solar heat gain and blocking harmful UV rays.
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Living in a Greenhouse
An ordinary window lets 82% of solar energy pass through. Absorbed by walls and furniture, this energy is reflected in the form of very long wavelengths unable to be released through glass - this is known as the "greenhouse effect." The trapped heat can only escape when the outside temperature is lower than that of the room. In the case of insulated glass this rate is even slower.
Efficiency of Solar Shades
If one side of a home has at least 50% of the glass unprotected and exposed to the sun, and with the windows closed, the temperature of the home can be 20 to 30 degrees higher than the outside temperature. For example, if the outside temperature is 82 degrees the inside temperature could be as high as 105 degrees. Thanks to energy efficient properties, solar shade fabrics can block solar radiation effectively before it reaches the inside room letting as little as 12% of solar energy through. Under certain conditions this can be reduced even further.
Numerous studies measuring energy transmission and efficiency have been conducted throughout Europe and North America demonstrating that solar shades can enable a 30 to 40 degree reduction in the maximum temperature of the room without the use of air conditioning.
Combined with air conditioning, solar shading systems allow a reduction in cooling equipment capacity of up to 30% and reduced energy consumption up to 30% as well. During the winter, blinds lowered at night create a cushion of insulating air in between the solar shade fabric and glass offering reduced heating costs as well.
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