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What are Solar Shades?

Lynne_Maxfield-ColeHello, Internet Readers!

I’m Lynne Maxfield- Cole, Interior/Exterior Designer and I’m excited about the response I have received from the AskLynne column. This week, I’d like to focus on how Window Treatments can help save money this summer on your energy bill.

It seems many of you are also aware of how Maine’s weather can be unforgiving by sending in your questions and concerns on how to improve the efficiency of your home to help save money. It is important to start thinking ahead and now would be a great time to address areas of your home that could use some adjustments and modifications to tighten up the home while creating a look that is just right for you.

Solar Shades

Mark wrote in and asked if I could tell him more about solar shades. I’d be happy to, Mark!

The light of the sun varies with the time of day. Often, it is at variance with your need for light, or can cause your rooms to be either too warm or too cold due to excess solar energy or heat escaping at the window. Enter the solar shade. Solar shades provide control over light, heat, and privacy. They are made from fabrics designed to block UV rays and glare while preserving your view. Blocking UV rays will help protect your valuable possessions from damage…fading. .sun rot, etc. Whether it be a traditional Cape style or a more open Lodge style, there are solar shades for all window shapes and styles.

Now imagine this: at the press of a button or flip of a switch, you can watch your solar shades drop into place, and conveniently block the sun completely or partially, allow or restrict light, or just protect your privacy. Additionally, these window shades, or roman shade design, can be centrally controlled and programmed to rise and retract at given times of day.

Motorization can be operated by wall switches, but can also be operated by remote control or even radio control, enabling you to open and close your shades from a significant distance. Automation has the added benefit of enabling you to use solar shades on windows that are hard to reach or in difficult locations…i.e. skylights….far side of hot tubs, etc. Motorized solar shades can come in the form of motorized window treatments, on the interior of your home, or motorized solar shades on the outside of your windows. The type you choose may depend more on aesthetics than function.

Exterior shades tend to give a more modern appearance, whereas for a more traditional appearance traditional window treatments, such as blinds, shades or drapes, can be motorized. Thus your colonial-style home, or even an old, historically significant landmark house can benefit from contemporary technology while still looking historically pristine.

Motorized solar shades last longer by eliminating manual pulling and tugging and the wear and tear that pulling and tugging entails. These automation systems are small and easily concealed behind decorative head rails or valances. These head rails or valances can match any d├ęcor. Automated window treatments will also save you time, by allowing you to press a button and change their position without having to move from one room to another. Motorized solar shades can be made to just about any width or length, and cover just about any size window or set of windows. They qualify for tax credits and have an amazing proven ‘rate of return’ for investment.

Exterior shades can be made from various materials, including woven fiberglass, PVC, Green fabrics, as well as polyester fibers, all of which come in a variety of colors to coordinate with the architecture to which it is applied. Custom shades, mounted on the outside of your windows or patios, can be adjusted to the exact position you require. They move on durable aluminum guide rails.

Lastly, basic mesh shades are NOT Solar shades…….be careful!

As a Certified Windows Treatments Consultant, I have specialized in providing consumers State of the Art Window Treatments utilizing technology and decorating style to fit your lifestyle.

Keep those great questions coming! I look forward to hearing from you. Please send me any questions and thoughts that you may have about your next home or office project!