Taking care of direct summer sun

26 12 2013

My office at home (I work from home exclusively) faces west, so come the afternoon on summer days, the windows get the full force of the sun and heat. Even if there’s a sea breeze blowing from the west (we’re close to the ocean), I have to close the windows (which have blinds, and 70%+ window tinting on them) so the sun and heat don’t come straight into the office and overheat me or the computers. Closing the windows on a hot day and thus preventing the sea breeze from coming in also means turning on the air conditioning (A/C) to keep the computers at a happy temperature (I’ve got one computer that tells me it’s getting hot by ramping up the fan speed once the ambient temperature in the room hits about 28C!).

I’d been thinking about getting shade screens on the front of the house since we moved in, but it wasn’t until we sold a property and had some ‘spare’ cash from that sale that I could justify such an expense. Fortunately, since I first thought of doing it some four years’ ago, technology has moved on and the days of manually unwinding/rolling up these screens are long gone — it’s all automated and done by remote control from inside the house now 😉

The roller screens were installed just before Christmas and already they’ve made a huge difference on those pleasant summer days where it’s not really hot enough to have the A/C on and the days when a nice cooling sea breeze is blowing. I no longer have to shut the windows mid-afternoon and turn on the A/C, just to keep the direct sun out.

I choose a light colour for the screens as the window tinting already adds a lot of darkness to the office, so with the screens down, I can keep the office windows open to catch the breeze, while still letting light in, but not the direct sun or heat. Of course, if it’s REALLY hot, then the A/C comes on AND the screens go down.


(Yes, I need to talk to the company about the ‘slack’ in the screens as I had expected them to be quite taut.)


You can see how the screens minimise the direct sun from the front of the house — there’s a LOT of shade between them and the front door and windows

The day after they were installed, I checked the heat coming through the bedroom windows (which aren’t shaded, but which have the same tinting on them) — I put the back of my hand on the inside of the window and it was HOT. I then went to one of the shaded windows and the temperature of the glass facing into the room was pretty much the ambient temperature of the room.

I should have done this years ago…



One response

26 12 2013

So very interesting. I miss the days when simple canvas awnings were “fashionable” on the West face of homes. They made an incredible cooling difference!!!!!!

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