On these long cold winter days it can be easy to forget that spring is fast approaching and that summer is just around the corner. If you’re Australian this means you’ll either soon be battening down the hatches to escape the sun indoors, or you’ll be slathering yourself in sunscreen on the beach, trying to stay cool in any way you can.
The point is, summers in Oz can be a bit, shall we say, intense. When the sun doesn’t hold back, you can’t either in your quest to escape it. To help you prepare your home for the imminent summer heat we're going to look at the benefits of external blinds in helping you combat the sun and protect your home.
As every sunscreen commercial reminds us, the sun emits harmful UV radiation. While that’s bad enough for our skin, at least there’s protection we can easily apply to avoid damage. Furniture isn’t so easy to protect. Sure, there are varnishes and coatings you can apply periodically to keep wood fresh, and conditioners for leather and fabrics, but doing so is time consuming, difficult, and can easily go wrong. Have you ever spilt furniture polish on carpet? Well, that stuff won’t come out with vinegar and bicarb, that’s for sure.
The best way to keep furniture looking good for a long time is by keeping it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Blinds are the obvious solution. Window tinting and other options are also feasible, but such options can permanently change the amount of sunlight you can let into a room, and will always allow a certain amount of radiation through that can do lasting damage. Whereas blinds can block out all or none of the sunlight as you see fit.
It’s not just furniture that can benefit from sun protection. Carpeting too will gradually show the bleaching effects of sunlight over time. Move a wardrobe or TV stand away from the spot it’s been sitting for a few years and you just might be shocked at how different the carpet colour underneath might be. Keeping direct summer sunlight out is essential for helping your carpet avoid fading and drastic ageing.
What happens when the mercury reaches 40 degrees and everyone suddenly feels like they’re living in a sauna? You guessed it, they go running to the nearest vendors of air conditioners, fans, curtains and blinds. If you put yourself in this boat you could very well end up having to wait weeks or even months before your preferred provider has time to come around and supply you with the cooling and shade apparatuses you need.
Procrastination is an all too easy a trap to fall into. If we’re honest, there are worse things in life than being stuck without blinds for a bit longer than you might have liked. Still, that’s no reason to delay. Get in now, and you can have the protection and comfort that blinds afford before the summer months really kick us in the guts. Sometimes vendors have special offers and discounts in the off season, so you may even save a few bucks by getting in early too.
Blinds are a basic yet often overlooked added layer of protection for your home. While they probably won’t stop a crowbar for very long, their advantage lies in their preventative properties. Thieves rarely go after something they can’t see. If your blinds are closed how are potential burglars going to scope out your things to see if there's anything worth stealing? They probably won’t be able to, and there’s every chance they’ll move on to an easier target. So installing blinds for privacy is a very good idea.
If you’re particularly worried about home security you may also explore installing external security roller blinds. They’re fitted with ‘antilift’ security locks and safeguard all the potential entry points to your home.
Spring is rapidly approaching, and in Australia that means summer is not far off either. Insulation is very important for the control of both heat and cold, and blinds are just another way to help keep the weather inside at a comfortable level.
Air conditioning is all very well, but it’s also expensive to run and damaging to the environment. Of course, we’re not telling you to abandon the use of air con altogether. Still, by blasting the AC on full power while allowing sunlight to stream in the windows, you may as well be begging your electricity provider to take a bit more cash out of your pocket.
Extreme heat is the biggest battle of the Aussie summer, and the biggest reason you should be on the front foot and look at getting blinds installed now.
Better than curtains
There’s nothing wrong with a good curtain - we’re not here to start a turf war. However, there’s no denying the advantages that a quality external blind has over a standard curtain.
Firstly, light control. Curtains are nearly always see through to some extent, which means they always let through a certain amount of light no matter what. While this isn’t a massive issue most of the time, it can be nice to completely block out the sun when the situation calls for it. Blinds also offer greater privacy and more reliable UV protection than their curtained counterparts. In windy conditions the choice is a no brainer - a flapping curtain is a major pain in the neck when the wind picks up.
Aesthetically, curtains and blinds are neither better nor worse than one another; it’s all up to what look you’re going for personally. However, it terms of style, blinds are perhaps the more contemporary option. Homes everywhere still use curtains, but in modern design wooden or aluminium blinds are the preferred style.
In terms of protection, both curtains and blinds will do a good job at keeping that sun from doing too much damage to your things, however there are still key differences between the two. Being made of fabric, curtains will suffer the same effects from the sun as the materials they’re trying to protect. Blinds, primarily wooden forms, can also suffer this fate, however they’re longevity is generally superior.
We hope we’ve shown you some benefits of installing blinds on your home, and also given you the kick in the pants you might have needed to get it done before summer arrives in full force. Believe us, your wallet and your comfort at home during the warmer months will both thank us.
This article was written by Liam Burke for Vanguard Australia, architectural design specialists for premium external blinds, awnings and weather protection solutions.
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