Passive Shading

Shading the sun is vital to keep your house cool in summer. Well-designed shading greatly reduces heat entry, adding significantly to summer comfort in the home. It can also significantly reduce the need for, and running costs of, air-conditioning equipment. The most effective way to keep summer heat out of the house is to use adequate external shading. North-facing windows can be easily shaded with fixed shading devices, such as an eaves overhang, horizontal shade or awning, and pergolas. These shading devices must be designed so they allow sun entry in winter and totally shade the windows in summer. Attention should be paid to adequately shading east- and west-facing windows, while south-facing windows generally do not need shading.

While important, internal shading such as curtains and blinds will never be as effective as external shading because the radiant heat from the sun has already passed through the glass. To get the best performance from curtains and blinds, you need to ensure they are opaque and of light colour, to maximise the reflection of sunlight. Pelmets are a good way to reduce heat loss. Tinted or reflective glass should be used where it is not desirable to obstruct the view, and internal shades with a reflective backing should be used where it is not possible to install external shading devices.