Keeping fuel bills as low as possible through the installation of energy-efficient fixtures and fittings is a key part of responsible homeownership. Not only are cheaper energy bills good for the wallet, but conserving energy is also a vital part of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. With research suggesting that anywhere between 10% and 40% of heat lost (or gained) in your home occurs through the windows, it’s clear that providing suitable insulation is vital.
The challenge comes in finding a window dressing that still provides the access to fresh air and natural daylight which windows provide, at the same time as minimising heat transfer. The solution is to install shutters! Here at Tweed Coast Security and Blinds we invite you to read on to discover how shutters provide the perfect energy-efficient window covering that’s also attractive and long-lasting.
Why are shutters energy-efficient installations?
There are several reasons why shutters are frequently the most energy-efficient form of window dressing.
Shutters cover the entire window and frame
Unlike blinds, which simply cover the window, shutters are attached outside the frame, completely enclosing the glass and window frame. The installation of shutters reduces heat loss/gain from any small gaps in the frame, as well as increasing the R-value of the window and the surrounding area.
Shutters are made from materials that offer excellent insulation
Fabrics used for curtains and blinds often only have a relatively low R-value, allowing heat to pass through fairly easily. Wooden, metal or polyvinyl blinds may have a higher R-value than textile, but their failure to cover the entire window and frame means plenty of heat transfer can still take place.
A wide range of contemporary shutter options available
Modern shutters come in four main options when it comes to materials: solid timber; composite; faux wood with a timber core; and faux wood (which have a wood effect look but are actually constructed from vinyl or PVC). Their order of insulating effectiveness (least effective first), is solid timber shutters; composites (normally consisting of MDF encased in polypropylene); PVC or vinyl shutters with an MDF core; and PVC or vinyl shutters with a wood core.
What type of shutter gives the greatest energy efficiency?
Note that whilst PVC or vinyl shutters normally offer the highest degree of insulation, and therefore energy efficiency, other factors such as size and shape of windows, degree of durability required or initial cost may mean that they’re not necessarily the best choice. The difference in insulation value between PVC shutters and solid timber options are still only relatively small. The key conclusion to draw is that any type of modern shutter, if correctly installed, is going to make a significant positive impact on the energy efficiency of your property.
A trained window dressing or shutter specialist is best placed to advise on the type of shutters that are going to work best for your individual circumstances. They will also be able to offer recommendations regarding appropriate products, as well as provide guidance on installation, operation, and on-going maintenance.