A property with an abundance of natural light is usually pretty warm and welcoming. But during the summer months in Phoenix, an excess of sunshine can hinder cooling efficiency. Unless you have quality dual-pane windows, proper seals and adequate insulation, it’s not very bright to let the light pour in. So we thought we’d cover a few ways you can block the sun’s rays from heating your space.
How to Withstand the Desert Heat.
At first glance, some of the protective measures listed below may seem unnecessary or too expensive to be worth your while. But when you’re able to lower cooling expenses, they’ll eventually pay for themselves – especially if you’re able to extend the lifespan of your AC system. Either way, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to better shade yourself from the quarterly heat wave.
So if you’re struggling to balance your indoor climate and block the sun’s rays from heating your space, here are some things you can do.
1. Tint Your Windows to Block Sunlight.
The easiest way to lessen the amount of light that enters the premises is to add tint to all your windows. Similar to vehicle tinting, there are a few ways you can do this. You can apply tinted film coatings, hire a professional to spray it on or simply buy darkened glass. If you’re going to get new glass, you might as well invest in a dual pane or LOWe product (greater UV and infrared protection).
There are quite a few differences between spray on tint and film coating. While coating has more options (colors and reflection), higher heat rejection and better UV blockage – it tends to bubble, peel and scratch a lot easier. It’s also more expensive to install. In turn, the price, fast application and longevity of spray on tends to be appealing.
2. Install Exterior Screens or Shudders.
In Phoenix, it’s not uncommon to see aluminum foil or a windshield reflector in a neighbor’s window. While this most certainly will block the sun’s rays from entering, it doesn’t exactly prevent the interior of the window from heating up. A better way to deflect infrared heat is to address the exterior of the window.
The most common solution in Arizona is thermo wave mesh or solar screen fabrics. These allow you to look out but obstruct the view in. While there are custom, more aesthetically pleasing options available – most are pretty simple to install. If you don’t want to screw tabs into the side of the property, adhesive technology is available.
Shudders are also used on the outside but don’t always provide the same amount of protection. They also tend to fare poorly in the intense heat. Nonetheless there are some quality options available if you’re willing to pay the price and keep up with maintenance.
3. Window Awnings Create More Shade.
If you’re interested in taking window protection to the next level, installing awnings above each entryway can make a tremendous difference. While tint and screens help, an overhead covering will block the sun’s rays during the hottest parts of the day. For the most part, it doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to get them set up.
Aside from function, awnings come in an array of styles, designs and materials. If you don’t want to order and hang them yourself, there are plenty of installers and suppliers in Phoenix to choose from. Just make sure you consider a quality product (like anything else on the exterior) so you don’t have to replace them in a few years.
4. Patio Coverings and Shade Sails.
Nearly every home in Phoenix has a back patio with some sort of covering. But not all sheltered areas are of ample size. So if you have some money to spend, you can always consider extending the solid roof to add a considerable amount of shade around the premises. Doing so will protect windows and also give you additional living space.
At the same time, you don’t have to invest in major construction projects that include thermal barriers in order to make a difference. Aluminum extensions, alumawood pergolas or traditional styled lattice are all decent options. Even draping a shade sail across the backyard will help block the sun’s rays from heating your Arizona property.
5. Outdoor Drapes and Roll Shades.
If you already have a decent-sized patio covering, then there are still more ways you can create a cooler environment outside of the property. Aside from misters and fans, exterior curtains and roll shades are extremely popular in Phoenix, Arizona.
Drapes act just like window curtains for the patio area. They’re hung from the ceiling and attach to the columns or posts that support the roof. They can be tied off during cool winter months and most are durable enough to withstand monsoon weather or extreme heat.
Roll shades work in a similar fashion but aren’t as expensive and don’t take up as much space. You simply attach them to the ceiling on the outside border of the patio and pull them down to block the sun’s rays.
Drapes and shades also provide an additional layer of privacy. This added benefit makes these options popular amongst restaurants with outdoor seating.
Efficiently Cool Bright Properties.
Most Arizonans will gladly clean a multitude of windows in exchange for access to the gorgeous blue sky. The weather and visibility are big reasons why many people move here. The ability to keep their lights off during the day is also a major perk. But this energy-saving strategy will never offset the cost of an overworking air conditioner.
This is why we do our best to educate property owners on the importance of efficiency. Although a natural-lit space may be of high importance to you, knowing how to manage the heat and maximize your comfort makes a big difference – even if you only block the sun’s rays for a few hours each day.
If you find yourself burdened by your indoor climate, feel free to reach out to one of our HVAC specialists for more tips on better cooling. At the end of the day, we don’t want anyone to regret their bright environment.