When it comes to modernising our homes, bi-fold doors are a popular choice. They invite more light in during the darker months and give us beautiful, framed views of our gardens once spring has sprung.
Yet, if you’ve already fitted south facing bi-fold doors into your property then you’ll know that your living space can at times heat up to unbearable proportions on sunny summer days.
So, why exactly does this happen and what can be done about it?
Solar gain explained
Windows let in short wave radiation from the sun and this phenomenon is called ‘solar gain’. You may already know about the greenhouse effect. Well, solar gain is the same thing.
Short wave radiation from the sun passes through the glass in your bi-fold doors, trapping the heat inside and not letting it escape. As well as creating an uninhabitable living environment in your home, the UV rays can actually melt floor adhesives and the intense light can even fade your carpets, wallpaper and dyed furnishings!
Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce the effects of solar gain even if you already have your doors installed.
Here are the most popular options:
Solar film is an inexpensive product that is designed to block out more heat than light. It reflects the radiation and literally bounces the heat back off the windows and out of your home. It’s easy to install. Just cut the film to size, wet the glass and then apply the film to the window before smoothing out any air bubbles. Simple.
Building an overhang will shade the sun’s rays in mid-summer when it’s at its highest in the sky, whilst still letting in enough of the sun’s glow in the winter.
You can also buy retractable awnings and pergolas, which allow you to create the shade you need when you most need it by easily rolling out a weatherproof fabric covering. Very versatile.
Curtains and blinds
There are a vast range of blinds, panels and curtains to choose from, to suit all interior design tastes.
As well as cutting out heat and light, curtains and blinds also have the added benefit of offering complete privacy at night. Great if you want to create a more homely feel inside.
Ahead of your installation
Yet, if you are still in the planning stages of your bi-fold doors, then now is the best time to really think ahead:
Triple glazed glass
For instance, you can temper the effects of the sun with your south-facing bi-fold doors by opting for glass that is triple glazed rather than double. This can reduce solar gain by a further 10%.
Otherwise, opting for a tinted glass will reduce both heat and light into your property. As well as reducing heat build, tinted glass also helps avoid the premature fading of soft furnishings, keeping the colours you choose for your home fresher and more vibrant for longer.
Between glass blinds
Finally, doors come with ‘between glass blinds’. This involves the manufacturer installing blinds of your choice between the two panes of glass in your double glazed doors. They are a genius solution for cutting out light and injecting state-of-the art style into your home.
All the benefits of bi-folding doors
It pays to know how to manage solar gain, whether you already have – or are planning to install – south facing bi-fold doors.
Managing excessive UV light will mean you’ll be able to modernise your property with a cutting edge look and enjoy an ‘outdoor in’ atmosphere within your home all year round – whichever way your garden faces.
For help with selecting and customising the bi-fold door of choice for your home, call Premier Plastics. As Berkshire’s premiere supplier and installer of high quality, cost effective uPVC and aluminium bi-fold doors we’ll be happy to provide you with our expert advice and free no-obligation quote.