Learn About Sun Control

Why You Need Sun Control

Sacramento is the:

Exterior shading is the most efficient way of providing sun control: seven times better than interior shading of any kind. Retractable awnings, retractable solar screens, and rolling shutters enable you to control when you want sun and when you don't, while:

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Increase Comfort and Protection While Saving Energy and Money

"Awnings can directly affect energy use by simply blocking the sun. Heat gain through windows is one of the main reasons why buildings need air conditioners…. In some climates you can save 20 to 25% of your cooling energy just by using awnings." ~ John Carmody, Director, Center for Sustainable Building Research, University of Minnesota

Watch The Science of Awnings on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EVrVXcIkxM).

More than just a matter of personal comfort, research shows that managing the use of sun and shade can have a significant impact on your home's energy efficiency.

Exterior shading:

Exterior shading pays for itself in energy cost savings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling bills account for 56% of the energy consumed in American households. The greatest benefit of sun control technologies is their potential to reduce these costs for homeowners, not just in summer, but year-round.

Solar heat gain is the interior warmth generated by the sun shining through your windows. On warm days, exterior shading blocks the sun before it enters your home, reducing the solar heat gain that is responsible for approximately 20% of the load on a residential air conditioner.1

On cold days, solar heat gain reduces your home's demand for heat. In the daytime, retracting your awnings and opening your shades or shutters allows the sun to heat your home naturally, substantially reducing heating energy consumption. After sunset, closing solar shades and rolling shutters helps retain heat inside your home.

By preventing the sun's UV rays from hitting your windows, retractable awnings, solar shades, and rolling shutters protect your valuable furnishings, flooring, and interior window coverings from damage and fading caused by sun exposure. A retractable awning over your deck or patio protects allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space while protecting your family, guests, and pets from excessive heat, sun, and UV exposure.

Retractable Awnings Retractable Solar Screens Rolling Shutters
Keep your home up to 20° cooler, reducing cooling energy consumption by as much as 33%.2

Over a deck or patio, reduce the temperature in shaded areas by 20° or more.3

Reduce solar heat gain by up to 90% and lower indoor temperatures by 10-15°, saving 25% on air conditioning costs throughout the warmer months.4

Reduce solar heat gain by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows.5

Provide a high level of UV protection when you're outdoors and help prevent fading of carpet and furniture indoors.

Stop 80% to 90% of the sun's energy from entering your home6, reducing indoor temperatures by up to 25° and air conditioning loads by up to 50%.7

Keep your home up to 22° cooler.8

Block 65% to 90% of UV rays while reducing visibility by only 15% to 40%, depending on the fabric you select.9

Summer: Reduce energy use by up to 50% with shutters in the closed position all day.10

Block up to 90% of solar heat rays with non-glare visibility from the inside. Provide protection against sun, light, storms, noise, and intruders.11

Winter: Reduce heat loss through windows or doors by up to 20%.12

The Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides a free, online calculator (http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer/) to help you see how much you can save by installing awnings (in the Doors and Windows section, enter "Exterior Sunscreens" for fabric awnings).

Photo of Durasol retractable awningSun When You Want It, Shading When You Don't

Sometimes you want sun, sometimes you don't. Retractable awnings, retractable solar screens, and rolling shutters put you in control of how much sun you want and when without sacrificing the outdoor view you paid for.

Retract or extend your awnings, shades, or shutters with one touch of a button or flip of a switch (automated systems). You can stop at any point so you control exactly how much sun you want. Optional automatic sensors and control devices will even operate your sun control products when you're not home to do it yourself.

Why Exterior Shading Is Better Than Interior

American homeowners have long preferred interior shading devices such as drapes, blinds, and shades. However, largely because of higher energy costs, the trend in Europe for 40 years has been toward exterior shading devices. This trend has increased greatly in the last 10 years due to the green energy movement and the recognition that exterior sun control devices provide significant energy savings. Retractable awnings and shades and rolling shutters have become commonplace due to their superior efficiency in keeping the sun's energy outside of the home.

Sunlight = Heat

To appreciate the advantage of exterior sun control products, it helps to understand how the sun works. The sun's energy reaches your home in the form of short-wave radiation (direct sunlight) and long-wave radiation (convection, transmitted by reflection and as heat in the air). When sunlight hits your home, your windows stop the penetration of long-wave radiation, but cannot stop short-wave radiation. When this short-wave radiation touches any surface inside your home, it's absorbed and converted into long-wave radiation (heat). This process is called passive solar heat gain.

Interior Shading

Even with double-glazed, low-E windows and interior shading devices, the sun's infrared rays still pass through window glass and transfer heat into your home. This heat is then trapped inside. Various studies have found that interior window coverings can reduce solar heat gain through clear glass by 20% to 70%, depending on their color and the window orientation (north, south, east, west). Of course, to block the sun, the covering must be closed, which also blocks natural light and your view.

Exterior Shading

Exterior shading is superior because it:

Exterior solar shades and rolling shutters absorb and reflect up to 95% of solar radiance, significantly reducing solar heat gain. Although factors vary with weather conditions, color and type of fabric, type of shading device, and window glazing, some structures with large expanses of glass facing the sun have reported 50% lower air conditioning costs.13

Call 916-967-4747 today for a free in-home consultation.

1 Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA)

2 Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota

3 abc Sun Control

4 Durasol

5 US Department of Energy

6 Home-insulation.net

7 abc Sun Control

8, 9 abc Sun Control

10, 11 Roll-A-Shield

12 Somfy

13 abc Sun Control