In recent years sunshades and retractable awnings have become one of the most popular ways for homeowners to invest in their homes, and for business owners to improve the functionality and appeal of their premises.

From controlling heat transfer to making a room more functional, blinds and awnings are a versatile and convenient solution. Whatever your reason, it’s a decision you won’t regret.

If you’re buying new sunshades or awnings for the first time, or are treating yourself to a long overdue upgrade, here are three things you should keep in mind when purchasing your new sunshade, awning and blind solution.

Select The Right Solution for the Right Window And Opening

The big question. Which shade solutions are right for which windows and openings? It all depends on your location in relation to the sun.

North-facing openings (and south-facing ones above the tropic of Capricorn) receive higher angle sun in summer and therefore require narrower overhead shading devices than east or west-facing openings. Fixed horizontal shading above north-facing glazing is all that is required. Examples include eaves, awnings, and pergolas with louvres set to the correct angle.

East and west-facing openings require a different approach, as low angle morning and afternoon summer sun from these directions is more difficult to shade. Adjustable shading, such as external blinds, is the optimum solution for these elevations.

Choosing the Right Awning Colours

When you’ve chosen the right shade solution for your home and business, you might feel like the hard work is done. But it’s really just beginning. Next, comes the process of choosing a colour scheme. This can be an entirely new colour scheme, or one that works with your existing interior or exterior.

Neutral colours such as white, cream and beige are the safest option for window treatments, as these can coordinate well with any existing room features, and you won’t need to change your blinds if you make other changes to the room, such as repainting walls.

If you don’t want to use neutral colours, you should think about how your blinds can alter the appearance of your room, with lighter colours being effective for making smaller rooms appear larger and darker colours tending to create a more enclosed space.

Like any other furnishings, your blinds can also help to establish a mood for the rooms they are installed in, with warm colours such as red, orange and yellow being more energetic and lively compared to cool and relaxing blues and greens.

Taking the Temperature on Interior vs Exterior Blinds

According to the Australian Government guidelines for sustainable design, direct sun can generate the same heat as a single bar radiator over each square metre of a surface, but effective shading can block up to 90% of this heat. By shading a building and its outdoor spaces we can reduce summer temperatures, improve comfort and save energy.

Much of the heat that is produced by the sun is amplified by the glass of your windows. Even if you have the shades down during the day, you can tell the difference in temperature just on the other side of the blinds. The air in your home is still getting warmed, and indoor shades don’t block air circulation completely.

Exterior shades, on the other hand, block the sun’s rays before they hit the window. This means that the air inside your home stays cooler, which makes a big difference on those hot summer days.