Eaves and pergolas, properly designed, provide adequate shade from the high summer sun while allowing the winter sun to enter and warm your home. With pergolas and angled louvres it is preferable to have adjustable louvres in comparison to fixed louvres as they provide the flexibility to control the amount of sunlight and shade. Fixed louvres angled at 25 degrees to 30 degrees let in about 75% of the mid-winter sun, and also allow sunlight through upper parts of the windows. Most of the summer sun will be blocked out if the louvres overlap. However, they also block a significant amount of desirable autumn and spring sunlight. Louvres should be as thin as possible to allow maximum sunlight penetration.
East and west facing windows should be well shaded from the morning and afternoon summer sun. Vertical shading devices, such as awnings blinds and shutters that cover the entire face of the window are most suitable.
Horizontal-type shading like pergolas, eaves and verandahs may not provide adequate shading from the low rising or setting sun
Removable or adjustable vertical shading such as blinds, awnings and shutters allow you to let in pleasant morning and afternoon sun in winter or on colder summer days. Fixed vertical shading such as louvres, fences and walls can provide summer shading but will also block out views and winter sunlight.
For windows facing north-east or north-west, the best way to shade them is through adjustable devices such as awnings or blinds, or combined with horizontal shading such as eaves and pergolas. South facing windows, particularly those facing south-east or south-west may require shading from the low angled early morning or late afternoon summer sun. Adjustable vertical shading or trees and bushes are suitable.
As daylight is an abundant and complex source of light. It's optimum use requires heat flow management that can greatly improve the quality of life within buildings. Skylights, roof windows and clerestory windows are an effective way to let light in, but careful consideration of the materials used is required to achieve a comfortable temperature in the room below. Roof aspect, positioning and light well shape all need to be considered even before selecting the appropriate glazing and type of product.
All major companies have a comprehensive range of solar control glazing and accessories that maximise light and minimise heat gain. There are a variety of products that minimise the penetration of infrared heat and ultraviolet rays which fade fabrics. There are also a number of independent companies with a range of blinds and shades that can be coupled with such windows.
There are some points to consider with windows and skylights such as in winter, when choosing window coverings, remember that to minimise the loss of heat and reduce cold drafts, you need close weave fabrics with a thick lining material and pelmets above. In summer windows that let in warm winter sun can also let in hot summer sun, allowing your home to overheat unless you have high performance windows or the right shading. Also use vertical blade shading or all-over shading fabrics on easterly and westerly facing windows.