When it’s hot outside, you want to get some relief when you walk inside your home. Window treatments and landscaping choices may only do so much to cut down on the heat coming into your home during the hot summer months. At some point, the sun is still going to hit your windows and begin baking the inside of your house. When that happens, you want a good heat blocking solution in place. Here are several of the best window heat blocking solutions to cut down on the summer sizzle and help you save on energy costs.
Heat-Reducing Window Film
Heat-reducing window film is a special micro-thin layer of film that you apply to your windows that is transparent but also provides several benefits. The film reduces heat gain from sunlight by blocking ultraviolet rays. This can keep your home cooler in the summer months and help reduce your air conditioning bills. A heat-reducing window film will also cut down on heat loss during the winter months, which can save on your home energy costs.
These types of film can be self-installed on most types of windows, and it’s an economical choice. The drawback is that window film could void your manufacturer’s warranty for the seal on existing double-pane windows.
Low-e Glass to Save Energy and Reduce In-Home Heat
Having “low-e glass” on your windows can allow you to maximize your energy savings and reduce the UV radiation coming into your home. Called a low-emissivity window film, this coating can reduce heat gain during the summer, cut down on heat loss during the winter, reduce UV damage to your furnishings, and minimize unwanted condensation on windows.
A low-e glass window can come in either a hard-coat or soft-coat. A hard-coat is produced when the glass is being made and in its molten state, and a soft-coat is applied after the window has been manufactured. The type of windows and coating that are best for your home might depend on your location and climate. It’s also important to note that your area could provide some valuable rebates for energy-efficient windows.
Smart Windows for Heat Reduction
Probably the most high-tech method of blocking the heat out of your home is using what are called “smart windows.” These futuristic windows are made with a dual-band electrochromic material that contains several types of nanocrystals. These electrically-charged crystals can achieve two goals. One will block sunlight and glare, while the other has heat-blocking capabilities.
The material used in smart windows is considered cutting-edge and was first described by Professor Delia Milliron of the University of Texas in 2013. The latest version of this window coating can block as much as 80% of visible light and 90% of infrared light. Unfortunately, these haven’t reached a level of commercialized use yet, so are simply something to keep an eye on for the future.
As summer approaches, finding the right heat-blocking solution for your home’s windows takes on a sense of urgency. Simply blasting the air conditioner higher is going to cost more in the long-term than investing in the right window solution for your home today.