With energy costs soaring, utility bills are a cause of grave concern, and UK homeowners must find ways to keep monthly bills as low as possible. One way to achieve this is to fit window coverings that decrease heat loss, making the home more energy efficient.
Insulation is key to an energy-efficient home. While many UK homes feature double-glazed windows and owners ensure attics, walls, and boilers are adequately insulated, few people consider their window coverings. But installing energy-efficient shutters or blinds will help maintain a room at a comfortable temperature all year round, meaning less money is spent on heating or cooling a room.
Heat Loss Through Windows
Did you know that most of the heat in a home is lost through the windows and doors? Up to 40% of your home’s energy exits out of the windows, which is more than the heat loss through walls and the roof.
The heat loss through windows is caused by radiation, which is when the cold glass neutralises the heat in the air. Similarly, convection, when the cold glass cools the air inside, causes further energy loss. More heat escapes through leakage via gaps in the frame and poorly fitted glazing.
U-Values and Heat Loss
U-values indicate how much heat is lost through an element. The lower the U-value, the better the object is at insulating and retaining heat.
Standard double-glazed windows in most UK homes have a U-value of about 2.9. Adding a blind to a double-glazed window lowers the u-value to 2.1. Adding window shutters lowers the u-value even further to 1.9, leading to minimal heat loss in the home.
Knowing one U-value from another when choosing a product like window coverings is extremely useful if you are undecided on which product to choose.
U-values give us a precise way of calculating the insulation offered by an item or material, which is a factor in Building Regulations. You must achieve a specific U-Value when building an extension to comply with rules, so you should be fully aware of the U-Value of the wall, windows, floor, and roof.
Their superior thermal efficiency and capacity to shut out the cold should tempt you to buy products with low U-values. Low U-value items will save you a significant amount on energy bills.
At Diamond Shutters, we are incredibly familiar with U-values. We know the values achieved by every one of our products in our shutter range and can help you calculate the overall U-value of any shutter installation you are considering.
Window Coverings Energy Efficiency Study
The UK government recognises window shutters and blinds as energy-saving technologies. For generations, people living in warm climates such as the Caribbean, Southern Europe, and America’s Deep South have used window shutters as an effective way to prevent warm air from entering a home, but they are equally effective when used to keep cool air out.
By running tests on a draught-proofed window, they found the energy efficiency surprisingly different for effectiveness.
Conventional curtains reduced heat loss by around 14% compared to when the window was uncovered. Standard roller blinds reduced the heat loss by approximately 22%, and Victorian roller blinds (made from heavier materials than standard roller blinds) presented an approximate 28% decrease in heat loss. However, window shutters were way ahead of the other coverings offering a 51% reduction in heat loss.
Therefore, the study concluded that when used throughout the year to help keep temperatures comfortable, window shutters will significantly save on energy bills during all seasons.
Automated shutters can make them even more energy effective, as you can change the coverage at the press of a button. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to operate the shutters remotely via an app, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature if weather conditions change unexpectedly while you are out.
Solar Shading To Lower Energy Bills
Solar shading is a method by which we can decrease solar radiation coming from heat and light in a building. Natural warmth and light are desired in most circumstances, and modern construction styles are designed to capture as much natural light as possible. However, on occasions, too much sunlight leads to too high temperatures or too much light. Solar shading is a broad term that describes various methods to reduce solar energy from entering a room. Using window coverings such as energy-saving shutters is a form of solar shading.
Sufficient solar shading helps to reduce the amount of energy used in the home by keeping heat inside during cold months, to reduce the need for radiators and gas fires. During the hot summer months, filtering out the sun’s rays minimises the use of fans and aircon.
Solar shading also helps use light more efficiently, lowering the need for electric lights.
An additional benefit is you can use shading to prevent the sun from fading furniture and fabrics.
The Importance of Solar Protection
When insulating a home, it is not only older buildings that must be considered. Although developers often build newer homes with solar shading in mind, cost cutting means that the cheapest window coverings are used as a bare minimum, or window coverings are not included at all.
Due to poor insulation, older properties like rural cottages or Georgian townhouses can get very cold in winter. However, owners of many new builds find the opposite, and the home becomes too hot in the summer because of overly efficient insulation. Thus, both require solar shading and excellent insulation provided by a window treatment such as plantation shutters, which can address any weather conditions throughout the year. Shutters allow us to maximise the free heat the sun provides in the winter and minimise its impact in the summer.
It is irrelevant how good or modern your double-glazed windows are; not using window coverings that will further reduce heat loss is irrational. Not only can your window treatments significantly impact thermal comfort and energy usage, but they will also improve the quality of life in a home.
While we are likely aware of the sun’s radiation at certain times of the year, most people don’t consider how it affects our homes and us daily. Although the sun’s power varies at different times of the year and day, we feel its effects constantly. Excessive solar radiation can harm human health, especially the skin and eyes. Adequate solar shading helps to control how much solar radiation enters our homes hourly.
The Importance of Window Treatments
With climate change being the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century, the differences between seasons are no longer obvious, and improving the energy efficiency of our homes is now a critical issue.
Making windows and doors as energy efficient as possible with double glazing is the first step to reducing heat loss and gain and, as a result, saving on bills. However, installing double glazing may not be feasible if you live in a listed building.
Choosing the correct window treatment can provide much-needed insulation in such cases.
Reducing the U-value of windows is vital in your home to help it be as environmentally friendly as possible. By choosing energy-efficient window treatments, you will greatly reduce the heat escaping from your home and stop draughts that make a room feel cold during the winter. The cost of heating your home will decrease, which can only be good for your pocket and the environment.
How Solar Shading Helps Us
Nowadays, homeowners need to be savvier regarding energy efficiency, making every penny count. Energy-saving window shutters will not only help you save on bills but have additional benefits to consider.
A few examples of added advantages include:
A significant decrease in exterior noise pollution that can make a massive difference to comfort in urban areas.
The capability to control lighting and ventilation, adjusting the louvres or panels as needed.
Added security for the home, serving as an obstacle for would-be intruders.
Improved privacy, which is particularly favourable in bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms etc.
More hygienic and easier to clean than traditional curtains, only requiring an occasional wipe.
Unparalleled durability and an extremely long lifespan.
A beautiful sleek, and sophisticated addition to any room available in virtually any colour and design imaginable.
As well as the above, plantation shutters will contribute significantly to a home’s market value. If you plan to sell your property in the future, adding interior shutters will help you get the best possible price.
For further information on any of the above or to find out about shutters in more detail, contact our office today.
Contact Diamond Shutters
As suppliers of quality window and shutter blinds for the last 15 years, we take pride in providing our clients with quality products that represent exceptional value
To find out how we can help transform your home through installing our beautiful looking window shutters, please call on the number below or fill out the contact form, and we will get back to you without delay
Any late or missed repayments may have serious consequences and your credit rating may be affected which could make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. Offered subject to status and successful credit assessment.
Diamond Shutters Ltdtrading as Diamond Window Shutters acts as a credit broker and not a lender, offering credit products provided by Specialist Lending Limited (trading as Duologi). Diamond Shutters Ltdis a limited company registered in England and Wales under number 05403049 at the registered address: 132 Station Road, Sidcup, DA15 7AB