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BBC Radio 4 shed light on the benefits of using blinds to keep homes cool

Winifred Robinson investigated how blinds can keep homes cool on BBC Radio 4’s programme You and Yours, 13th August 2018.

With a guest speaking appearance from Zoe De Grussa of London South Bank University, who is working with the British Blind and Shutter Association researching how blinds can reduce temperatures inside UK homes, Winifred Robinson asks some important questions about how blinds can effectively cool buildings.

Zoe explained how external blinds reflect the sun’s rays before they enter the building, not allowing the room to heat up and therefore keeping the room cooler. A recent real-life study by Zoe found that external blinds can reduce internal temperatures by up to 18C.

External automated blinds are the most effective way to utilise solar shading as a passive cooling method. Ideally these should be planned at the design stage as retrofit is invariably more challenging and costlier.

In the UK we tend to use internal blinds; these also offer a significant benefit although do not stop all the heat entering the room, as external blinds do. In the study, internal temperatures were reduced by up to 13C when internal blinds were fitted. The most beneficial fabric to use is a solar protective coated material.

You & Yours shed light on why blinds are an important tool to consider when faced with a potentially overheating property by interviewing Robert Benford who has a property in Hampshire which had automated external venetian blinds installed in August 2018 by a BBSA member.

On one of the hotter days of this year, Mr Benford said that when they touched the window and it was cool they realised ‘wow this is different’ and that the blinds had stopped the windows from heating up.

The BBSA have produced a short video which explains why solar shading and blinds can help keep buildings cool, or if you want to read the full scientific study have a look here.


You & Yours, Radio 4, 13th August 2018, 27 min 45sec: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bf4c3x

Video: https://shadeit.wpengine.com/resource/solar-shading-reduces-overheating-homes/

Full study: https://shadeit.wpengine.com/resource/solar-shading-reduces-overheating/

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