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Community and Q&A

Shades up or down for energy efficiency when working at home over the summer?

user-2656402 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

My husband and I work from home during the summer and are trying to figure out whether it is more energy efficient to have shades up for light or shades down to keep out heat and turn on the light during the hottest months.



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  1. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #1

    Keeping your shades down when sun is shining directly into windows will help keep heat down in warm weather. Windows that don't get direct sunlight (north facing for example) won't benefit from shading.

    Keep in mind that blocking the sun's unwanted heat from the outside is more effective. Using a shade screen like those available from Phifer Sunscreen can reduce 70+% of the suns heat from coming into the house when installed outside the windows. They are darker than normal screens but still allow a fair amount of light in.

  2. user-2656402 | | #2

    Thanks, Carl! So it sounds like--before we get an opportunity to install outside shades-- if we need more light than can be provided by the sides of the house not receiving direct sunlight at a particular time of day, we should keep the shade closed and turn on the light. Is that right?

    Thanks very much!

  3. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #3

    Miriam - if your choice for light is natural light that only comes with direct sunlight in warm weather, then you will be better off using electric lighting, as long as it is CFL or LEDs that don't create much heat. If the sun is indirect, such as you would get from a north facing window or it is not direct sunlight, then you won't get much excess heat and keeping shades up won't overheat the house.

  4. user-2656402 | | #4

    Great -- thanks so much!!

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