The Importance of Windows in the Florida Summer Heat
Summers in Florida can be unbearably hot. Even with an effective cooling system or air conditioner in place, your home may still be boiling despite the increasing electricity bills. This is where your windows play a part.
When it comes to controlling the internal temperature of a house, windows are often overlooked. In reality, windows contribute to the overall heating and cooling of a building. One obvious way is by opening and closing the window panes to let air in or out.
However, the glass panes themselves have a lot to do with temperature control as well. The biggest contributor is probably the solar heat gain or SHG i.e. the heat from direct sunlight that enters through the glass of windows that heat a space. SHG is the reason why south and west-facing rooms with windows tend to get warmer than other rooms in your house because they receive more sunlight.
How Can Windows Help?
Solar gains can be lowered by covering up the window glass using blinds or curtains and installing energy-efficient windows. Another way is by installing low-E glass windows.
Low-e or low-emissivity glass windows are a special type of treated glass that conducts visible light while maintaining the passage of heat. This is a type of energy-efficient glass window that controls the heat entering and exiting the home.
Low-e windows allow visible light to pass through while blocking heat-generating ultraviolet light. The glass reflects heat to the environment or the source. All objects in space give off a certain amount and form of energy. Long wave radiation energy is in the form of heat while short wave radiation energy is in the form of visible light from the sun. The coating of the low-E glass transmits short wave energy to enter (i.e. light) and reflects long-wave energy (i.e. heat). This also means the rooms will be cooler, with a reduced requirement for artificial cooling, and ultimately lower electric bills.
Other ways to use a window to control room temperature include:
Keeping Windows Shut: Avoid the urge to open a window in an attempt to let the breeze in on a hot summer day. Leaving windows open in the summer even with a breeze allows gusts of hot air to enter as well and lets the cooler room air escape. It also welcomes humidity which even on an average day in Florida can be as high as 70%. This basically turns your house into a sauna.
Window Treatments: Don’t let in the bright summer light during the day and keep those blinds and curtains closed. This reduces the solar gains and reduces the amount of heat entering through the glass panes.
Heat Blocking Window Film: Heat blocking films can be applied to windows that help to cool the internal temperature as well as reflect UV rays that can be damaging to your furniture and health.
Seal Cracks: Any cracks, breaks, or openings will let in hot gusts of the warm summer breeze nulling the effect of your air conditioner.