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Does External Shading Reduce Heat Loss?

Microlouvre Screens on a Conservatory Roof - 1

External shading has been one of the great innovations over the past few decades. Now entering the residential market, the advances of MicroLouvres fitted to the outside of windows offer significant benefits over standard internal shading – but is reducing heat loss one of them?

Heat loss is a continual problem for homes, especially as we all look with more scrutiny at our home energy efficiency, hoping to keep down fuel bills and lessen our impact on the planet. Internal shading options help in many ways – some better than others- but external shading may offer the proper solution when the challenge is the overheating of rooms in the summer.

External Shading: The Microlouvre Evolution

MicroLouvres are an incredible window covering option. Fitted to the outside of the building, the system is made of hundreds of tiny hair-thin metal louvres rather than the traditional wide louvres of standard shuttering. Close up, these MicroLouvres are almost invisible, providing an unobstructed view of the outside, but they provide impressive privacy from a distance.

Also, the technology behind MicroLouvres has been developed to control the incoming light and heat radiation selectively. MicroLouvres offer a solution to sun glare while providing a fine-tuned system for overall light control. 

But that’s not all.

Perhaps the most impressive advantage of MicroLouvre external shading is its interaction with the sun’s heat. One of its primary achievements is keeping a building cool even when great expanses of windows let in strong summer sun.

As the MicroLouvres are fitted to the outside of the window, they trap the hot air outside the building, reflecting the sun’s UV rays before penetrating the glass and effectively keeping the inside from overheating. Used in commercial buildings such as offices, hospitals, and schools, the technology behind MicroLouvres significantly reduces the need for air conditioning.

That’s great for dealing with excess heat, but is it relevant when looking at reducing heat loss from buildings during the colder months?

Does External Shading Reduce Heat Loss?

Despite the key objective of MicroLouvres being to reduce heat gain, a by-product of that is a reduction in heat loss during the colder months.

Between the window and the mesh, a thermal barrier is formed. This thermal barrier can be utilised to reflect unwanted heat rays during the summer, so too can it be used to capture heat during the winter.

This has the effect of preventing heat from escaping as easily from the windows. The primary cause of heat loss is that the energy inside the building is expelled to the outside world through the chill of the glass. Just as double and triple glazing plays a part in creating a buffer zone and helping contain the heat inside the room, so too does the external air buffer created by the MicroLouvres.

Independent tests have shown that overall heat loss drops by up to 15% when the screens are mounted close to the glass. 

Microlouvre on roof from inside

What Else Can MicroLouvres Do?

MicroLouvres are an innovative product, unlike the internal shading solutions that have traditionally been used for centuries. Their placement outside the building has a number of additional advantages beyond impressive heat control in both winter and summer:

  • Protect from UV damage – Direct exposure to sunlight can damage furnishing and other objects. For this reason, libraries and universities favour MicroLouvres, using angular technology to protect books and other antiquities from UV glare while still giving the rooms that hold them plenty of natural light. It works just as well on your more delicate home furnishings.
  • Privacy – Thanks to the fixed louvres, MicroLouvres work almost like magic for privacy, allowing light into the room while blocking any unwanted stares from outside.
  • Filtering insects – The MicroLouvres act like a mesh or screen, preventing unwanted insects from flying into open windows.
  • Zero maintenance – MicroLouvres require no maintenance, being made of high-grade materials that never need cleaning and are highly resistant to environmental damage.

Finding The Ultimate Heat Loss Solution

Of course, combining external and internal window coverings cannot be beaten for the absolute finest solution to prevent home heat loss.

Internal shutters provide an excellent first-line defence against heat loss, providing an initial barrier that keeps the warm air inside. Follow that up with double-glazed (or better, triple-glazed) windows, and the costs of heating your home will drop considerably. Externally mounted MicroLouves finish the protection, creating the perfect solution to reduce energy bills.

External Shading with the Scottish Shutter Company

At SSC, we are fans of MicroLouvre systems for home light and heat control – and the rise in microlouvre solutions in the residential sector shows we’re not alone. Contact us today to discuss how external shading can help prevent heat loss in your home. Download a brochure for full details and a range of other ideas to make your home the comfortable environment you deserve. 

Picture of David Browne

David Browne

David is Co-Founder and Project Director at the award-winning, Best Family Business 2020 – the Scottish Shutter Company. David has over 35 years’ experience in running and growing small businesses.




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