Are Window Awnings Brisbane Homes’ Best Defence Against Summer Heat?
While westerly facing windows in winter can be a delight, there is one word to describe the same windows in the middle of a Brisbane summer. Brutal. Windows that face due west will render those rooms all but unusable from around midday onwards – even with a wide verandah to “protect” you.
With the Brisbane summer essentially running from October until April, for six months of the year, the rooms with west facing windows are going to be the most unpopular rooms in the house – unless you have some method of protecting them from the penetrating glare of the sun. If you have the yard space, hedges might do the trick, but they are very permanent and render the room perpetually gloomy year round.
To avoid a permanent barrier between your windows and the view beyond, consider window awnings. Brisbane summers can be enjoyed instead of endured with the right window covering! Awnings are available in an amazing array of options – style, shape, size, materials and operation methods. Need something that protects your verandah or windows from the Brisbane summer sun but still want some light to penetrate? Our experienced and professional team can assist you in achieving a visually attractive solution that meets your needs and adds value to your property.
How your home’s orientation on the block determines the need for awnings
Home orientation will play a large role in how comfortable your house is in summer (or winter, for that matter). The Australian Government’s Your Home website provides a pretty detailed explanation of the principles of good home orientation. Generally, in Brisbane it is most beneficial to have the longer walls (with the main living areas) facing in a northerly direction. This aims to present a narrower aspect of the home to the west and to decrease the longer wall’s exposure to the sun in summer.
Every site is unique and your home may have been oriented to take most advantage of the view or prevailing winds or oriented differently for some other reason. No matter which way your home is oriented, windows that face due west are going to bear the brunt of the hot sun. If you have utility areas on that westerly wall, you may not mind a hot laundry, bathroom or garage, or you may be happy to have trees or hedging shading your windows year round, cutting down air flow and blocking the view of the neighbours. However, if you have bedrooms or living areas facing the west, window awnings are a more practical option.
Are window awnings cost effective?
If you don’t have air-conditioning, then window awnings are a great energy friendly alternative. The cost of cooling a hot Brisbane home for the summer can be staggering. If you are running air-conditioning, with the right window awnings, Brisbane summers can be a little more bearable on you and your hip pocket.
Sheltering easterly facing windows in the morning and westerly facing windows in the afternoon with awnings will keep rooms cooler for longer periods of time – reducing air-con run time. You may even find that you won’t need to switch the cooling on as early in the Brisbane summer season. Once the air-conditioning is switched on, by removing the heat of the direct sun on the windows, window awnings reduce the effort required to keep the temperature comfortable.
How to choose the right awnings for the window
Every home is unique and selecting the right awnings for your home will involve looking at many factors. The site conditions, orientation of the house and the style of your home are just some of the details taken into account. When it comes to choosing the right awning, you might also consider:
- Where is the window situated? (a pivot arm motorised option may be the best option for a second story window)
- Do you want to block light out or let light into the room?
- Are there strong prevailing winds?
- Is a fixed awning the right solution for your window?
- What style of awning suits the home?
- What type of fabric suits the home style?
- Will the fabric and materials used cope with the harsh Queensland sun and tropical conditions?
With over 50 years experience designing and installing blinds in South East Queensland, we can help you choose the right awning to complement your home.
Looking for the perfect awnings? Brisbane specialists Blinds Plus Awnings can help! Call us today for a free measure and quote on 07 3287 9181.