Passive heat-blocking methods involve reflecting heat away from your home to reduce the need for cooling. These methods use passive devices like shades and blinds that don't require an energy source and are inexpensive to install. Some window shades that are designed to reflect heat are also designed to let light come through into the room.
Louvers are externally mounted window shades that are similar to awnings. Louvers consist of horizontal slats of metal or wood mounted on angled brackets and provide shade without obscuring the view because they only cover the top half or less of the window. Louver slats can be tilted to let in more light or block heat, allowing for control over the lighting and view of the window. Even when the slats are closed completely, light will fill the room and you'll be able to appreciate the view from that window.
Sheerweave materials are special vinyl or fabric sheets woven loosely to let light come in through a roller blind made from them. According to Blinds.com, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, as well as different weave patterns. Tighter weave fabric blocks more heat, but also darken a room and obscures the view. A loosely woven fabric that has a rating of 10 percent openness between the fibers will let in light, and you will also be able to enjoy the colors of the scenery outside your window.
These special shades are installed in place of the normal mesh window screens your home has to keep out bugs and animals while your windows are open. Solar screens appear to be normal mesh, but are designed with new materials and coatings to reflect much of the heat that would radiate in through an unprotected window, according to EarthEasy.com. They are an easy-to-install exterior shade that doesn't substantially alter the exterior or interior look of your home. Unlike blinds or large awnings, plenty of light makes it through the mesh. Your view will be somewhat obscured, like with all mesh window coverings, but they are almost as see-through as the existing window screens on your home.
Film that block specific wavelengths of light cut down on the fading of your furniture and interior paint as well as lowering the heat of a room, according to House-Energy.com. These films may add a slight tint to the light entering your home or the view from the window, but they don't block your view. Do-it-yourself kits are available along with plenty of professional installers. Light-blocking films are made of a cling material that usually doesn't require adhesive, but applying them correctly without bubbles or creases in the film can be tricky. Unless you are only covering a small amount of glass, it's easier to hire a professional who is trained and experienced at applying window films.
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