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3 Ways to Reduce Solar Heat Gain

The sun
Homeowners consistently cite numerous and well-placed windows as one of the most attractive features of a home. Yet windows can also have an adverse effect on your home's summertime cooling bills through the phenomenon known as solar heat gain. Solar heat gain increases the temperature of your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder than it should.

In fact, according to Energy.gov, solar heat gain may account for as much as 30 percent of the energy used to cool your home. Fortunately, options exist for minimizing solar heat gain, no matter how many windows your home contains. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your home's energy efficiency, keep reading. This article takes a closer look at three effective ways to reduce solar heat gain.

1. Landscape Wisely

The most basic way to prevent heat gain involves blocking sunrays from passing into your windows, and the most natural way to accomplish this goal is through strategic landscaping. Trees and shrubs can block heat when placed around your home in appropriate locations. A single tree can absorb up to a whopping 600,000 BTUs of solar radiation each day.

For best results, try to increase the shade around east and west facing windows. Windows with those orientations tend to absorb the most heat. The lower angles of sunlight in morning and afternoon can easily sneak beneath even low-hanging eaves. Deciduous trees make a great choice since they allow for helpful heat gain in winter once they've lost their leaves.

2. Use Solar-Reflective Paint

While windows account for the largest single share of solar heat gain, any part of your home exposed to sunlight will also contribute to the problem. You can often reduce the amount of heat your home soaks up by covering it with solar-reflective paint. As their name implies, such paints redirect sunrays harmlessly away from your home.

Solar-reflective paints come in a wide variety of colors. Generally speaking, the lighter the shade of the paint, the greater its reflective power, as measured in Total Solar Reflectance, TSR. White paints have the greatest TSR ratings and can reliably prevent as much as 80 percent of solar heat from entering your home.

3. Install Window Tints

When it comes to preventing solar heat gain through windows, landscaping alone can take a long time to achieve the desired results. Only once your trees have reached an appropriate state of maturity will they block heat to the desired degree. In the meantime, homeowners often find themselves in desperate need of relief.

For nearly instantaneous results, consider having your windows professionally tinted with special films. Many people shy away from window films due to negative stigmas. For instance, people often assume that such films end up blocking more light than they do heat. Likewise, homeowners often fear that the film will develop unsightly bubbling and other cosmetic issues.

While such complaints may have been valid in the early years of window tints, today's technology has virtually abolished such problems. Window films now offer a highly effective and aesthetically versatile way to improve energy efficiency. Homeowners can choose from a variety of different films types, each of which boasts its own unique performance benefits.

Manufacturers rate window films using a number of different metrics. One of the most important goes by the name of the Light-to-Solar-Gain (LSG) ratio. The higher the LSG rating, the more light the film will let through. Nonetheless, many films with high LSG ratings can still block a majority of the heat carried by solar rays.

For more information about how the right window films can transform your home's energy economy, please contact Redding's window experts at Sunblockers Window Tinting.

See the difference Sunblockers can make