2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole and the hottest ever in England, according to the Met Office.
Researchers suggest that the next few years may be exceptionally warm too.
Interior plantation shutters are an excellent way to help keep your home cooler in the warm summer months.
With better insulated homes, warmer summers, and most homes not having air conditioning here in the UK, homeowners are trying to find new ways of reducing heat gain in their home.
Several years ago, queries about reducing heat gain were generally related to shading conservatories. However, we have seen a marked increase of enquiries relating to how shutters can help shade all the windows in a residential home.
The BBSA (British Blind and Shutter Association) is the only UK trade association for companies that manufacture, supply and install interior and exterior shutters, blinds, awnings and security grilles. We are proud to be an accredited member.
Shade IT is an important project of the BBSA to improve the understanding of the science and technology of solar shading products which have proven benefits on the comfort and efficiency of buildings. The BBSA supports the programme with a Technical Working Group of industry experts and funds a PhD student at London South Bank University.
So what have they found out?
According to research, some 20% of homes across the UK are prone to overheating.
When the BBSA and London South Bank University teamed up to monitor some newly renovated London flats to find out the true extent of overheating, the results were truly shocking.
A room with no blinds reached an absolutely scorching 47.5c, which is hotter than an average day in Death Valley, California – better known as the hottest place on earth! However, the study revealed that in a room fitted with blinds the temperatures were reduced by up to 14c. It’s safe to assume that shutters would have had the same impact as blinds.
Not only does heat make it uncomfortable to sleep and relax – overheating can also have unfortunate and even dangerous side effects. Vulnerable people such as children and the elderly are particularly at risk of experiencing heat related illnesses and for the general population, it has been proven that productivity and even exam results can be affected by working and living in higher temperatures.
My room is too hot. Do shutters keep a house cool?
Yes – research conducted by the BBSA shows that internal shading can reduce room temperatures by 8-13C. Results will vary by building. Shading type and ventilation are important too.
With your shutters, will my house be cool when I get home from work on a hot day?
It would be misleading to suggest that shutters will make your home cool, but it will definitely be cooler than without shading.
I have Low-E glass – will this keep me cool?
No! In fact, it will make it worse. Low emissivity glazing is designed to keep heat in during the winter. It cannot work the other way in the summer, so it keeps the heat in when it’s hot too.
How do shutters help prevent heat gain?
Unlike curtains, internal shutters help by reflecting some of the sun’s energy away from the room. The nature of a shutter – a number of panels mounted onto a frame that is fixed into the window reveal – means that you can have the panels closed and louvres tilted, with a window open behind to offer ventilation. Unlike a blind, a shutter won’t move in a breeze.
Do blackout blinds keep heat out?
We offer an option for an integrated blind within a shutter and this will assist with reducing the room temperature and blocking out the sunlight. However, you should bear in mind that this will reduce the ventilation when lowered. Read more about our blackout solutions.
What is the best form of shading for heat reduction?
Typically, external shading is best as it acts like a shield to the window. However, in the UK, our windows open outwards so homeowners mainly use internal shading.
The thickness, coating, and where the shading is fitted will all have a part to play in reducing heat gain.
Solution 1: Shutter style
Full Height shutters would be best as they shade the whole of the window. Café style shutters will only cover half of the window. Solid shutters would reflect the most sunlight, but wouldn’t provide the best ventilation option – more on that in a minute!
Solution 2: Go for white!
Opt for a shade of white and this will help with reflecting some of the sun’s energy. All of our shutter ranges are available in various shades of white to complement your room and decor.
Solution 3: Louvre configuration
Ensure the louvres are tilted at an angle to shade the room or are closed. When the sun goes down, they can be tilted down to help move air into the room.
Solution 4: Open your windows!
When you get home, it’s important to ventilate the home to remove the warm air. You can open the windows behind the shutters and then close the panels but tilt the louvres as desired. The beauty of shutters is that, if there is any sort of breeze, they will remain stable and won’t move about like blinds. Ensuring you angle the louvres down, will help bring the air into the room.
Here at The Window Shutter Company, we work with homeowners and businesses to provide advice and products to help keep buildings cooler in hot weather and therefore help you feel more comfortable.
With a lead time of 14-17 weeks from order, now is the time to book in your free home design visit so that you can order your shutters and have them installed in good time for the hot summer months ahead.