Wood Exterior Shutters to Insulate Windows
With snow blanketing most of the country, it is hard to focus on the coming summer months. Temperatures of 80°, 90°, and even 100° in some regions are inevitable. We constantly seek ways to moderate temperatures inside and outside the home. Finding that perfect thermostat setting can cause turmoil in some households, but even a 1° difference can make an impact on the bottom line.
Windows, while they are a necessary addition to any home, are most susceptible to heat transfer. If windows are left unregulated, the overall home temperature will be more difficult to control. Direct sunlight can instantly warm the room it enters. There are several ways to prevent this from happening.
Some homes have the benefit of large trees surrounding the structure. This established foliage can intercept direct sunlight, keeping shade not only on the windows but other parts of the exterior. Unfortunately, a natural canopy is not quickly erected. In fact, depending on the type of tree planted this process can easily take more than twenty years. Trees will also offer protection from wind and muffle sound. Maintenance required includes trimming vegetation that makes contact with the side of the building and trimming large branches that hang directly over the home.
Functional exterior shutters can often be manufactured and installed within a month. Shutters provide an attractive solution that is prevalent on many American homes. Open, outdoor shutters flank the window on either side adding detail, structure, and interest to the house. Closed, shutters block direct sunlight attempting to enter the home. Louvered panels allow ventilation when the window is open and temperatures are moderate. Raised panel shutters act in a similar fashion without the ability to circulate air. Bahama shutters hinge and open to the top of the window, creating type of solid awning. The Bahama style is often used in regions closer to the equator. When the beam that holds the shutter in place is released, the panel swings down covering the full opening. Typically, this particular shutter is very wide using a vertical sub-stile creating a left and right louver area. Exterior shutters need to be constructed from a solid material to be functional. Cedar is often selected for durability purposes. Once a season shutters should be inspected for any required repairs.
Cloth awnings also effectively deflect the hot summer sun. Installed directly above the window, awnings are often permanent. Some awnings can be removed seasonally to protect the material from winter. Other applications are retractable for use when the owner desires additional shade.
Interior window coverings will also help insulate the home. It is best, however, to arrest sunlight before it makes contact with the home. One, or a combination, of these options should keep your home cool this summer.
By Brian Wright