Shutters provide an extra insulating layer to boost the efficiency of window areas in the home and studies have shown that the addition of shutters to a window can help to reduce heat loss by up to a massive 64%.
Shutters aren’t just brilliant at reducing heat loss in the home – they can also have a cooling effect in rooms during warmer summer months. The effectiveness of the shutters in both hot and cold months can assist with both standard heating bills as well as reducing the use of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning units (HVAC) which are very costly to run.
Studies show that solar energy transmittance (gtot) reduces from 0.85 to 0.24 with a double-glazed window. Adding a shutter can reduce this further to 0.15 gtot. In London properties where overheating can be a problem in summer months, this gtot reduction can avoid the requirement of HVAC units and the cost associated with running them. Shutters are considered a non-energy intensive home solution as unless motorised shutters are installed, no power is required to make the shutters work.
Optimal usage of the shutters varies depending on the time of year and whether you want the shutters to help heat, or cool, your home. In summer, panels and slats should be closed when it’s hot outside and when any direct sun glare can shine through into the home, only re-opening when the sun has set or the window becomes shaded. This operation ensures that direct light doesn’t heat the space during the hottest times of day and keeps rooms comfortably cool. Windows can also be opened behind the shutters and slats manoeuvred to slightly open to allow a slight breeze to come through.
In colder winter months, the best operation is to keep the shutters open throughout the day to allow light to shine through and warm up the room, harvesting the available solar energy to keep the room warm, and close again when it gets dark.
In a study which looked at the percentage reduction of heat loss in different shadings compared to single glazed windows, shutters were the clear front runners at 64% compared to 37% when a roller blind is used.
Honeycomb blinds were runners up to shutters in the percentage efficiency rankings. Honeycomb blinds can be fitted behind shutters as a room darkening solution or on their own in a custom-built frame to concertina up and down as required. Though honeycomb blinds work as a good darkening addition within a shutter frame, the blind alone does not offer the long list of shutter benefits including varying levels of light and privacy control so the combined option is most recommended.
Thinking about your U-Value
U-value (also known as thermal transmittance) is the rate of transfer through a structure divided by the difference in temperature across that structure. The better insulated a structure is, the lower the U-Value will be. The most effective way to improve the U-Value, specifically in single glazed properties, is to swap out the windows however this option can be both lengthy and expensive. Focusing on the window dressing instead (either as a cheaper alternative or to boost the window performance) can improve the U-Value by 40% which is a significant improvement.
Protecting the planet one shutter at a time
As quantified by an ESCORP/EU25 study, up to 80 million tonnes of CO2 could potentially be saved by installing shutters and blinds so installing shutters to the windows won’t just help your wallet, it will help your carbon footprint too.
If you want to invest in your home energy efficiency by installing shutters to your windows then trust in the 40 years of experience the Plantation Shutters team can offer to every order. You can reach out to our friendly team on 02088719222, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via an Online Quote or Contact Form – we can’t wait to hear from you.
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