In the throes of the hot, humid summer months, homeowner demand for energy management and cooling technologies spikes. Seeking reliable, easy-to-use, and effective ways of keeping the entire house cool, many homeowners are turning to smart thermostats, energy monitoring devices, and of course, air conditioning.
But one key aspect of the home is often overlooked when it comes to savoring the cool air in defense of the hot sunshine: Windows.
Many people don’t realize the degree to which windows play a role in temperature regulation: The US Department of Energy reports that in older homes, window systems typically account for 25 percent of annual heating and cooling costs but can be responsible for as much as 40 percent. That said, protection at the window is key. But the sun has a mind of its own, and not just any window shade will be savvy enough to beat the heat.
When automated, shades can adjust on a schedule based on how the sun moves around the house and in coordination with other devices like a smart thermostat. They can insulate the window in the winter to keep warm air in and block the sun in the summer to keep the heat out. By integrating with existing smart home systems, homeowners have the option to adjust their shades at any time, from anywhere, with a convenient press of a button, a voice command, or within a mobile app. Power options like rechargeable battery wands and hardwired systems ensure that shades perform reliably when insulation is needed most, like at high noon when the sun is glaring.
From shade styles designed specifically to insulate up to 80% of unwanted solar heat at the window to fabrics that stop UV rays from infiltrating the home, implementing smart shading solutions offer the material benefits of energy-saving fabrics and the functional benefits of automation.
Automated shades allow homeowners to let light in nearly instantly when it is cool and close blinds on scorching days. Cellular shades, like Hunter Douglas’ Duette, Sonnette, and Applause Honeycomb Shades, are specially engineered to optimize energy efficiency at the window with honeycomb construction. This design traps air in distinct pockets, creating insulation that can help lower energy consumption and in turn energy costs.
In addition, select fabrics from Hunter Douglas DuetteⓇ Honeycomb Shades, Applause Honeycomb Shades, Sonnette Cellular Roller Shades, and Designer Screen Shades collections come with an additional credibility proof-point for temperature regulation: Attachments Energy Ratings Council (AERC) certification.
AERC provides an unbiased, third-party certification of the energy-saving potential of a window attachment product and the Hunter Douglas lines of cellular shades and cellular roller shades were the first to earn an energy performance rating. AERC rated and certified window treatments offer benefits across climates helping maintain temperature, so homeowners are not spending more than they need to on heat or air conditioning.
Smart shades can enhance other key smart home features, such as convenience, security and privacy, and entertainment. Installed alongside existing smart home technologies, the shades can support lighting scenes, provide privacy at night with a simple command, and filter the natural sunlight into the space for ambiance.
Options like room darkening fabrics can also enhance entertainment features in a smart home, offering a way to block light out of the living room for movie-viewing or the bedroom for sleeping, these types of fabrics also contribute to energy efficiency.
At the top of it all, smart shading offers one major advantage unmatched by most home technologies: thoughtful, beautiful design. Shade styles and fabrics in custom sizes, colors and textures can suit the décor of any room, which adds a unique opportunity to simultaneously add functionality and aesthetic.
Hunter Douglas offers a competitive edge with its design first approach, with four different AERC-rated shade styles available in a plethora of fabrics for any home. From the design options to the technology, the energy savings, and benefits of smart shading in tandem offer tremendous value for the homeowner and home technology professional.
Visit www.hunterdouglas.com for more information on smart shades.