February 2, 2021 – In sunny SWFL, 30 percent of cooling costs are attributed to glass and windows. There are several ways to help lessen the load that windows put on your air conditioner. Our LCEC energy experts recommend:
Residential window tint:
Significant air-conditioning savings can be attained by blocking solar heat before it reaches the windows by using special heat-reflecting glass or heat-reflecting glass coatings (residential window tint). Reflective glass or reflective glass coatings should be rated to reflect at least 65 percent of all solar heat to be considered efficient in Southwest Florida. Since east- or west- facing windows are the main source of intrusive heat, it is especially helpful to use shading devices on these windows since they experience many hours of direct sunlight.
Awnings, storm shutters, shade trees and porch or lanai roofs are all very effective in blocking solar heat. To be 100 percent effective, the exterior shading device must never allow direct sunlight to touch the window’s surface. South-facing windows experience a great deal of direct sunlight in the winter months when the sun rides lower in the sky. In the summer, south-facing windows are largely shaded by the overhanging soffit of the roof.
Avoid skylights if possible:
Skylights experience many more hours of direct sunlight than any vertical window and should be avoided if possible. Existing skylights can be tinted, covered, blocked or shaded to lessen their load on the air conditioner.
LCEC energy experts also recommend considering energy-efficient features such as double-pane, low-E glass when upgrading windows. To learn more about how heat enters your home and other green energy tips, visit lcec.net.
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