Natural lighting offers many benefits, from keeping your home bright and cheerful to promoting healthy sleep habits. Maintaining a naturally lit home can be a challenge during fall. Here’s how to bring in sunshine this fall season.
More Glass Equals More Light
This seems fairly obvious, but the more glass your home has, the brighter your interior spaces will be. You may already be thinking about taking out part of a wall to install new windows or patio doors, but with careful planning you’d be surprised at what you can do with the existing window openings at your home. A bank of small windows can be combined into one large window. Window style like bay windows can provide even more natural lighting, thanks to the increased number of window sashes.
Slim frames can make a big difference. Vinyl and similar materials have limited structural strength, which is why frames made of these materials have to be of a certain thickness. Otherwise, they can’t support the weight of the glass. Fortunately, materials like our own Fibrex® material allow slimmer frames and bigger glass areas without sacrificing structural support. It has proven to be so strong that our replacement window frames, along with some parts of our replacement doors, are made with it.
Don’t Forget to Choose Energy-Efficient Glass
Glass is a naturally conductive material. If you are to increase the amount of glass on your walls, you need insulated glass. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an inefficient home that allows heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer, resulting in high energy bills. Your windows and patio doors need to be equipped with double-pane glass, which consists of two glass panels separated by an insulated spacer.
The airspace between interior and exterior surfaces act as an insulating barrier that reduces heat transfer and improves insulation. Low-emissivity (Low E) coatings selectively block ultraviolet (UV) rays as well as heat from the sun. The space can also be filled with an insulating gas for improved insulation. This combination has proven to be effective that our replacement doors and windows that are equipped with High Performance™ Low-E4® glass packages.
Clerestory Windows Can Illuminate Tight Spaces
Tight spaces, such as entry halls and dark corners, can be challenging to light up. While the go-to solutions would be skylights, you probably don’t want to go through all the trouble of punching holes in your roof. Clerestory windows are fixed windows that provide illumination for areas where typical windows won’t fit.
Sun Tunnels Can Illuminate Even Tighter Spaces
Sun tunnels are tubular installations that allow natural lighting in tight areas. Sun tunnels have three parts: a roof-mounted dome that catches sunlight, a flexible tube with reflective inner material and a ceiling-mounted panel that provides indoor illumination. Sun tunnels differ from skylights in that they’re smaller, easier to install and don’t require a straight roof-to-ceiling opening, which allows some placement flexibility.
Install Sidelights on Entry Doors
Dark entryways can be illuminated with sidelights. These are vertical fixed windows that flank the entry door. Installation may require taking out part of the wall, but it can be incorporated into existing door frames. Some homeowners balk at having sidelights because of privacy concerns; however, you can choose to have obscured or frosted glass instead of clear ones. Glass blocks are another alternative if you wish for something that’s thicker than double-pane glass.
Use Light Window Treatments
You might be concerned about how your privacy will be affected if you increase the glass areas around the house. Ground-level windows and sliding doors with clear glass may make some parts of your home visible from the curb, but there are ways to control indoor privacy without sacrificing natural lighting.
White curtains and other light window treatments are usually enough to obscure the view from the outside, yet still provide indoor illumination. Thick drapes can be installed if you would want to keep the room dark during certain times of the day, such as when you want to sleep in during weekends.
Renewal by Andersen® of Nashville is your leading provider of popular replacement window styles, including casement windows. Give us a call at (615) 238-9463, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Nashville and Clarksville, TN.