Plantation shutters - saving you energy costs.
Posted by Derek Lamb on
Well, do shutters save money?
The answer, of course, is a resounding yes. That lowly shutter that was once massively replaced by cheap heating during the 20th century is now warming its way back to many houses these days. It’s no secret that shutters save money on your heating bill; in fact, a well-fitted and installed piece can naturally reduce heat loss by up to 30%. Imagine how much you can save on your electric bill during the colder months of the year.
Why Windows Create Heat Loss
It’s a known fact that windows are one of the weakest links when it comes to heat loss. Around 21% to 30% of heat escapes a room on any given day, with the warm air moving towards the cold surface of your windows. Once it reaches the glass, it cools down and falls to the floor, creating a cold draught while circulating back inside the room. As this happens, warm air mixes with cool air, making the room colder as time passes.
Shutters installed in tight-fitting frames help reduce heat loss by creating air spaces that help insulate windows. Their thick material helps prevent heat from escaping and moving between the window covering and glass, thus reducing heat loss by up to 50%. This makes your home more heat-efficient, helping you save money on your electric bill.
How to Effectively Use Shutters for Maximum Savings
Shutters are not only there to make your home more beautiful; they’re also there to help insulate your home. You can further stretch your savings by following these simple tips:
Add curtains. Curtains make a wonderful addition to shutters. Not only do they make it more beautiful, they also improve heat retention in the room.
Choose shutters that have a high R-value. A material’s resistance to heat transfer can be expressed as its R-value. Generally, the greater the R-value, the greater it can resist heat loss. A single-glazed window is rated R-1, and this score can be doubled–or even tripled–just by adding a shutter.
Typically, a plantation shutter has an R-3 value, which is almost the same rating used for double-glazed windows. And while this offers decent heat retention, investing in shutters with more advanced insulation features can be the key to keeping warm air locked in a room. One kind of high R-value shutter uses foam panels with heat-reflective foils (also known as Polyiso). In fact, a 1.5 inch shutter panel with this feature is rated R-9, which is almost the same as a 2.5-inch thick wall insulation.
Choose interior shutters for easier maintenance. Studies show that a good insulation can be determined by the tightness between the window and its covering, so it doesn’t really matter if your shutter is placed inside or outside your home. However, external shutters can easily accumulate dirt, making them harder to maintain in the long run. They are also more exposed to outside elements like rain and sunlight. This constant wear and tear might weaken their material over time and make them less effective at retaining heat.
Hire expert installers. A properly installed shutter should be “tightly” fitted in all the right places without sacrificing its appearance. Maintaining balance between design, function and form leaves no room for mistakes, so make sure to hire an expert who not only can make accurate measurements, but can also customize them according to your needs. You really can save money and time just by hiring professionals who know what they’re doing.