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Home Automation

8 Tips to Save Energy Using Window Shades

15th November 2016

Properly controlling your window shades can greatly affect the comfort and energy usage of your home. Window shades can keep summer heat out, winter heat in, limiting your need to turn up the air conditioning or heating your home. Here are some tips on how to automate your shades to reduce your energy consumption throughout the year!  


Summer Tips

Shades reflect light energy out that would otherwise become heat energy inside your home. When direct sunlight enters your home in an uncontrolled way, it creates unwanted solar heat gain. This makes you uncomfortable and reaching for that A/C.

Tip #1: Close your shades when direct light is present (generally in the morning and afternoon).

By controlling your shades properly, you can save 10 – 15% on what you spend on cooling, in addition to enjoying a comfortable home on hot summer days.

Tip #2: Slightly raise your shades at night to allow heat to escape.

It may seem counterintuitive, but opening up your shades at nighttime can actually help the heat escape from your rooms in the hot summer nights. With the hot air leaving your rooms, you can again further reduce your dependency on the A/C. Only opening them slightly allows you to maintain privacy.


Winter Tips

Tip #3: When warming up your home, close your shades to keep the heat in.

The heat in your home escapes through your windows. By closing your shades, you can add some insulation to your windows which reduce heat loss. This is most effective during the nights, in both the winter and on plain cold nights.

Tip #4: Open your shades on sunny days to let heat in.

On sunny days in the winter, you can actually harness sunlight by allowing it to enter through the windows to heat up your rooms. It’s actually an effective strategy that office spaces use to lower energy consumption in buildings.


Window Locations

The location of your windows also affect the way heat enters and leaves your rooms. Controlling your shades based on where your windows are is another great way to manage the comfort and energy use of your home.

South and west facing windows receive the most direct sunlight out of any in your home. Whether you are looking to increase or decrease the effects of sunlight, these windows will have the greatest impact on your home’s level of comfort and energy usage. The sun rises from the east to the west – so another smart strategy is to have your shades open on the east in the morning, and on the west at night.

Tip #5: Pay closer attention to the positioning of south and west facing windows.

Tip #6: Open eastern shades in the morning, closing western shades at night.


Smarter Management of Your Home

By being able to simply control your shades with your phone, you can easily program your home to conserve energy most effectively, all while saving your precious time. It’s a lot easier to set everything at once than it is to get up and manually make all these energy saving changes throughout the day. When you’re not home, it becomes impossible to do this manually.

Tip #7: Set schedules with your phone using the above tips to make things more convenient.

Tying your shades into a greater Smart Home system enhances this further. Sensors around your home and other smart devices communicate with each other to automate this entire process for you. Sudden changes in the weather can affect the schedules that you painstakingly created, but with Smart Home automation, your home will magically adapt to weather conditions so that you are always optimizing your energy usage.

Tip #8: Use sensors and Smart Home devices to automate the entire process for maximum convenience.

If committing and investing in a Smart Home is a bit too much of a step for you, AXIS Gear actually comes with sensors built right into it. With Gear alone, your shades can automatically adjust to changing weather conditions. In fact, your windows are one of the best places for Smart Home products and sensors to collect data. This makes AXIS Gear a perfect step into creating your perfect Smart Home, and an impressive upgrade to the Smart Home you already have set up.

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