ECO- Friendly and Green Blinds, Shades
A few decades ago, ‘green’ was just a color. Today it takes new significance, especially for new homeowners. Green is the new palaver every environment-conscious being is indulging in. And rightly so! We want to preserve our planet, for our children and theirs, to enjoy without ramifications of previous neglect. Seeing as how spring is late in coming, I wonder if 10yrs from now we’ll have it at all! We may just be flung into the ice age again! Well, it’s certainly possible!
R-2000 is a revolutionary concept that views a home as a system – a new way of thinking that recognizes that individual components of a house work together to control the flow of air, heat and moisture throughout. A joint partnership between the Natural Resources of Canada and the Canadian home Builder’s Association, it serves to teach, test and license builders to stamp the R-2000 seal of approval on a finished house. It relies on computer modeling to select the best fusion of products and materials for every building. Its every component determines to keep heat in and heating costs down. Hugely efficient double or triple glazed Low-E argon/krypton-filled windows (high-performance windows) deflect the summer heat while retaining the warm air heated by the winter sun. A leak-proof home prevents heating dollars from trickling away. But the air quality of a tightly sealed home is compromised. For a well-ventilated home, a mechanical heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is an absolute must.
While windows lend unmatched distinction to buildings, they can also be a liability – excessive condensation is one of the most common problems most homeowners face. High-performance windows create comfort in your home by reducing drafts and allow it have higher humidity levels without developing a condensation problem. Because R-2000 homes are built to meet energy performance targets, it’s important to have properly designed and oriented windows that can provide more heat than they’re liable to lose. These homes are typically built with a number of south-facing windows to maximize heat from the winter sun rays. The solar gain a house gains through properly oriented windows far exceed the heat they lose. To avoid overheating in summer, common sense would dictate that large areas of unshaded windows facing east or south are avoided. It is recommended that a few large windows are incorporated rather than many small ones. Even though fixed windows are recommended for R-2000 homes, operable windows provide ventilation and more importantly, an escape route in the event of a fire breakout. The Manitoba building code prescribes the areas mandated to have operable windows.
Glazing- refers to the transparent-translucent part of a window – the part made of glass that may be reinforced with plastic film. The more the layers of glass, the less the heat loss and condensation.
A low-emissivity (low-E) coating – reflects heat back into a room in winter and reduces radiant heat from entering a room during the summer.
Gas fills – Inert gas filled spaces between the glazing further reduces heat lost through windows.
Window Shades – studies have showed that interior window shades in combination with high-performance windows don’t have a significant effect on power saving, but exterior shades have proved to cut down on air-conditioning costs by a cool 25% and upwards during summer. Researcher Mike Swinton says, “The combination of a high solar-gain window in the winter with exterior shading in the summer….would be a good combination.”
HOW EXTERIOR ROLLER SOLAR SHADES WORK.
Solar Shades are marvels that are designed to block the sun while providing an excellent view. While no single fabric has the precise combination of thermal-optical properties to satisfy every application, Phifer has masterfully crafted solar sheerweaves fabrics that are available in a variety of styles, colors and openness factors (OF). Available in light, dark and high-performance reflective fabrics, they provide:
· Heat and Glare control
· Natural Light Management
· UV Protection
High-Performance Solar Shades.
As the name suggests, these shades outperform the light and dark fabric solar shades in that they provide heat and glare control, UV protection and view-through functions because they have reflective exteriors whatever the room-side color may be. These fabrics are characterized by low visible light transmittance (VLT) – which means that little light passes through the fabric weave, resulting in excellent glare control, along with low shading coefficient (SC) values, never mind the color.
Dark-colored Solar Shades.
Dark fabrics of 4 – 6% openness have low visible transmission and block 94 – 96% of the visible light; they also absorb heat (as they have high solar absorptance) and keep it at the windows till it dissipates into the room. Use for rooms that require passive solar warming and glare control.
Light-colored Solar Shades.
These fabrics are effective at reflecting heat and allowing visible light into the room. Fabrics that have 10-20% openness factors are best used for rooms that have small windows, and for common areas where more light is welcomed. View through is reduced due to reflected light.
Use the rule of thumb given below to factor in criteria that’s most important:
Use dark colored fabric for optimal view through and glare reduction
Use light colored fabric for heat reduction
Use high-Performance fabric for view, glare control, and heat reduction
The exterior roller solar shades from Graber Blinds provide the best possible option – using the exquisitely woven solar fabrics from Phifer, they are crafted responsibly to conform to all mandated green requirements charted out for R-2000 homes.
Please be advised that exterior shades don’t provide for privacy at night; when a room is illuminated, additional window shading is required. Go for the Artisan Roman Shades from Graber Blinds or the Woven TradeWinds Natural Shades from Graber or Crown. You could opt for blackout liners for shading in bedrooms.
Congratulations to all the proud new owners of R-2000 homes!