…on the eleventh day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…eleven solar shades, ten wax wraps, nine tubes of caulk, eight cotton socks, seven false roselle, six craft beers, five mutual shares, four smart bulbs, three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!
Last summer was incredibly hot here in Florida! I had been lamenting to my Green Friend about my utility bills since so many trees were gone after the two hurricanes that came through the area. We discussed my options and the pros and cons of applying a window film to reduce the heat, adding outside awnings or installing interior solar shades. In case you are unfamiliar with solar shades they are made on a roller that can pulled down by hand, a chain or motorized depending on the brand. The shades are constructed of a screen-like flame retardant fabric that can be varying degrees (called openness) of weave depending on your needs. They are also available in a variety of colors.
Lucky me, my Green Friend knew the orientation of my house and gifted me solar shades with different levels of UV protection. I prefer white shades since my window frames are white although there are so many great colors available! The weave depends on the amount of sun and UV rays you want to filter. The west side of my house gets the brutal summer sun and heat so I have 94% filtering for those windows. The north and south sides of my house face the walls of neighbors’ houses, so I did not need shades for the clerestory windows on those 2 sides. The east side of my house sports Bahama shutters with movable slats so they will have shades with 80% protection. The amount of UV, heat protection and orientation of your windows should determine the openness of the weave.
In addition to saving money on my utility bills I preferred solar shades to the window tint or exterior awnings for many reasons:
- reduces energy costs by 15% or more depending on the weave selected
- the ability to see outside while providing more privacy
- reduces glare to provide better productivity and comfort
- filters the intense sun and harmful UV rays keeping my home cooler in the summer
- protects my furniture, rugs and art from fading and damaging any equipment
- provides a uniform look of window coverings for better curb appeal.
- acts somewhat like a thermal block by keeping the cold air in the winter from infiltrating rooms
- can add points if obtaining a green certification for your home
- some brands have lifetime warranties
Additionally, solar shades actually add value to your home, especially if you have other smart/energy-efficient features. The Appraisal Institute added a Residential Green Addendum form for their certified Appraisers and Solar Shades are one of the features that contributes to the value of your home!
Thank you for joining me on the Eleventh Day of a Green Christmas! If you’re curious about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas or wonder why I write my Twelve Days of a Green Christmas posts you can find those answers here. Join me tomorrow on the Twelfth and final day of a Green Christmas to find out what my Green Friend gifts me…I’m sure it will be fun, educational, useful or possibly edible!