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Global Shading Day 2024: 7 reasons to switch to external blinds

Today is Global Shading Day, a day for recognising and raising awareness of the role of solar shading in making buildings more energy efficient and combating the effects of global warming.

We’re wholeheartedly backing this key campaign, not just because we happen to have recently added external blinds to our range of services, but because blinds and other forms of solar shading are integral to achieving 21st century-focused sustainable design.

But what do we mean by this?

The world is getting hotter 

According to research carried out by Arup for the Climate Change Commission, 90% of the UK’s housing stock will suffer from overheating by the mid-2030s.

As for the here and now, hotter, more drier summers are being experienced globally, with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions reporting that the hottest day on record lasted for four days in-a-row last summer (July 2023).

Meanwhile, research led by the University of Oxford has found that climate change is causing the hottest days to warm at double the rate of average summer days. As a result, it’s predicted that the UK’s record-breaking heatwave last summer is likely to become more of a regular occurrence.

The impact is real – and widespread 

When the mercury rises - all buildings, residential and commercial – are capable of overheating. This is due to the fact that as the sun’s UV rays AKA ‘solar energy’ shines through the windows and/or doors, it’s unable to escape.

Once inside, it causes the internal temperature to steadily rise, creating a ‘solar gain.’ The more glass that is penetrated by the sun, the greater the impact, hence the reason why greenhouses and cars become so unbearably hot!

Cue – external blinds 

We’re all familiar with closing the curtains or blinds to shut the sun out. But did you know that exterior blinds which, as the name suggests, are fitted on the outside of doors, windows and skylights, are capable of reducing internal temperatures by up to 18°, even on the hottest summer’s day?

But that’s just one of the benefits of installing external blinds for homeowners and businesses. Other benefits include:

1. Regulatory compliance

The Building Regulations Approved Document O relates to overheating in buildings and recommends the use of external blinds as a viable solution for reducing overheating. Shutters, external blinds, overhangs and awnings are all recommended as an ‘acceptable strategy’ for reducing overheating risk.

2. Natural air source

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change anticipates that the average number of days per year that Europe will require air conditioning will increase by around 30% between now and 2050. External blinds are capable of blocking up to 97% of the sun’s solar heat energy by creating a barrier in front of the glazing, keeping rooms cooler and eliminating the need for air con systems.

3. Reduced energy costs 

As a result of the fact external blinds reduce solar gain and keep indoor spaces naturally cool, the need for air conditioning systems that are, of course, powered by electricity, is eradicated. And zero air conditioning also means zero servicing and maintenance costs.

4. Lower C02 emissions

According to National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers, air conditioning is responsible for the equivalent of 1,950 million tons of carbon dioxide released annually or 3.94% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But, as we’ve just mentioned, the need for air conditioning can be eliminated, simply by installing external blinds.  

5. Warmer winter temperatures 

External blinds really come into their own in the summer, but they are also incredibly effective at retaining heat within buildings during the winter which, in turn, leads to lower thermostats, as well as energy costs.

6. Perfect finishing touch

Exterior blinds are a highly practical feature that offer the added bonus of instantly adding a stylish and contemporary finish to any building, residential or commercial. Some designs also incorporate a special mesh fabric that reduces solar gain and makes them unnoticeable when in use.

7. Personalised blind solutions

The range of exterior blinds currently available on the market is extensive and comprises a wide selection of colours and fabric finishes (including dim out and blackout). They also come in a range of sizes, spanning 0.9 to 6m wide and 0.5 to 6m deep, and with added functionality, including remote control operation and wind and sun sensors.

Exterior blinds are an exceptional product that are single-handedly capable of future-proofing buildings, protecting the planet and improving people’s wellbeing. The benefits listed above are literally the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully enough to provide you with a valuable glimpse into their all-round capabilities.

If you have any queries, would like to find out more, or to discuss how exterior blinds can make your home/office space more comfortable and enable you to reduce costs and your carbon footprint, email us at


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