The long hours of intense sunshine in Calgary increase cooling costs, but you can lessen some of that heat gain by using solar shades. These shades block some of the heat solar radiation creates when it strikes surfaces. They’re commonly used as exterior shades for windows, patios, exterior wall coverings, and in agricultural applications.
The shade cloth offers one-way viewing through it and is available as fabric pull-down shades, sail cloths, or window screens. Materials are available that block 90 percent of solar radiation.
A solar shade will:
- Block the UV (ultraviolet) rays entering your home. UV rays will fade upholstery and flooring materials. Instead of closing the window coverings when the sun enters a room to preserve home furnishings, a solar shade lets the safer rays of the sun enter the room.
- Cut heat gain. Solar sun screens block the heat that hits south and west facing windows. It’s so much more energy efficient to block the heat before it enters your home. While heavy window coverings do help keep a room cooler, they’re not as effective in the summer as light-blocking screens on the outside.
- Improve privacy. It’s impossible to clearly see through the screens from the outdoors during the day. However, when interior lights are on at night, it’s possible to see indoors.
- Cut glare. Sunshine can make it difficult to watch television or view a computer screen. Solar shades reduce the glare and won’t obstruct your view outside.
- Cool hot walls. Motorized or hand-crank shades are available that you can raise and lower to shield a hot exterior wall. A fully insulated wall that receives constant afternoon sunshine will radiate heat indoors after a few hours. A shade keeps the wall cooler and eliminates the need to adjust the thermostat later in the day.
Solar shades help improve comfort and lower cooling costs during the summer, especially when used with a high-quality, energy-efficient air conditioner. For installation and maintenance of your air conditioner this summer, contact Arpi’s Industries Ltd., providing HVAC services for Calgary-area homeowners.