External Shading – Trees, Shrubs, Awnings, Louvres and Pergolas

It is more effective to block the suns heat from reaching your glass window than dealing with the heat once it has entered your home environment. The right type of shading device must be chosen to avoid compromising natural light entering your home. Shading that allows flexibility for seasonal changes may be required in certain cases. For example, North facing windows should be shaded with devices that provide protection from the summer sun and, where required, allow the sun to enter the house in winter. In this case the most natural shading would be deciduous vines or creepers on extended pergolas. Other options include adjustable fabric pergolas, awnings or shutters.

What you need to know:

  • External shading is much more effective in keeping your home cool than internal blinds or curtains
  • Incorrect external shading devices can restrict natural light and make your internal living area dark
  • The most appropriate shading for your windows depends on the direction they face
  • South facing windows require shading for low angled sunrise and sunset rays
  • Eastern and western windows should be well shaded from the morning and afternoon sun
  • Natural shading like tall dense trees or shrubs should be used where possible but avoid planting large evergreen trees near north facing windows, they cast a long shadow in winter, limiting the amount of heat and light entering the home
  • Be aware that fixed vertical shading like walls and louvers will provide summer shading but block views and winter sun
  • Adjustable vertical shading covering the entire window is ideal but may not be aesthetically pleasing from the outside

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