Save Energy and Money by Using Window Shutters
Previous generations utilized shutters on windows to block the hot western sun and to stop the cold winds coming from the north.
Over the years, improvements in window designs and construction have made shutters strictly decorative. Driving through any neighborhood you will notice traditional styled homes with window shutters framing the window of a home. Those shutters are usually fixed to the house and cannot be opened and closed to save energy.
We often have dual paned windows that are designed to insulate and save energy. In past generations, windows were single paned and often let in drafts around the frame. Window shutters a hundred years ago could be opened and closed as needed.
Our ancestors understood using window shutters and would close the shutters during hot afternoons to keep their home shady and cool. In the winter, closed shutters kept out the worst winds of a winter storm and held heat inside.
Indoor Window Shutters
While we think of window shutters as products installed on the outside of a home, indoor window shutters are gaining popularity.
These may be actual shutters that fold back to lay against an inside wall when not in use. More often, these are plantation-type shutters made of wood or composite materials.
These shutters are both useful for energy savings and decorative for the home. They have slats that open to allow light into the room or can be closed to provide both privacy and insulation. This type of indoor shutter is especially useful in hot climates.
Closing shutters on the eastern exposure of the house in late morning and on the western exposure during the afternoon helps prevent cool air from escaping and keeps the sun from adding too much warmth.
These indoor shutters can also be used with thermal lined curtains to provide an added layer of energy savings.
The combination of plantation style shutters and insulated fabric window coverings increases the insulation and reduces the greenhouse effect of windows in the summer. It also reduces heat loss during cold winter months.
Today there are indoor shutters specifically produced to provide energy savings. These shutters are installed indoors and have a reflective surface that faces the windows.
In a hot region of the country, the cost of such window shutters can quickly pay for itself in energy savings.
Window shutters are recognized as an efficient way to reduce power use. For that reason, there are tax incentives to install selected shutters in your home.
Not all indoor shutters meeting the requirements for the tax rebate and the most recent tax incentive recently expired.
Checking government sites for energy credits is a good idea if you plan to install any energy saving equipment in your home these days.
There are frequent tax rebates offered for buying energy efficient appliances or HVAC systems and for adding such upgrades.
Exterior Window Shutters
Non-functioning, fixed exterior shutters can add character and style to a home and stationary shutters may be in wood or, more often today, constructed of vinyl or pvc.
These are lightweight and easy to maintain. There is hardware available that makes a stationary window shutter appearing to be a functional, moveable window shutter.
In the Florida Keys and coastal cities like New Orleans, exterior shutters are often functional and can be opened and closed at will. Often on a hot afternoon the shutters will be closed while the window itself is fully open.
The louvers in the shutter allow ocean breezes to flow into the home while the body of the shutters blocks most of the hot sunlight.
Louvered exterior shutters do not block winter winds as well as shutters made of full panels of wood or composite. However, they do allow some filtered light into the home.
Shutters also provide a level of security and one of the best selling exterior shutters in tropical areas is the high end hurricane shutter.
These are meant to provide windows from the debris blown by hurricane force winds and also provide security after the storm when homeowners have been required to evacuate the area.
Window shutters for energy savings are increasingly popular today with builders, environmentalists and with homeowners.
The ability to open and close an interior or exterior shutter and to maneuver the louvers to adjust light coming indoors is just one feature. The savings in energy costs can be significant.
If you enjoyed reading this guide, make sure you don't miss our other guides on renewable energy as well!