House Taming
How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases in Comfort
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Window shading.

The biggest energy villains in most modern homes are the windows. We build houses with walls of glass facing the hot afternoon western sun and then wonder why they are impossible to air condition.

During summer, good window shading is essential for a comfortable and energy efficient home. If direct sunlight falls on your windows in summer you are unlikely to be comfortable no matter how large an air conditioner you have.

To be most effective you need to stop the heat before it gets into the house. External shade keeps up to 80% of the sun's heat out, while blinds or curtains typically only stop about 30% of the sun's heat. In other words if you have vertical blinds for example, you still get more than 2/3 of the suns heat coming in. You will probably barely notice the improvement with the vertical blinds, while you will definitely notice the improvement if you install, for example, some matchstick blinds.

The main types of shading are:

Each of these types have their strengths and weaknesses

Roller shutters

strengths

weaknesses

bamboo or matchstick blinds

strengths

weaknesses

pergolas

strengths

weaknesses

trees and shrubs

strengths

weaknesses

Further information on this subject is available in House Taming: How to reduce greenhouse gases in comfort

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