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Plantation shutters are becoming one of the most popular fittings for bay windows in the UK, and this is why:
A bay window is a stunning attribute in a room, one that needs to be celebrated and yet too often hidden behind heavy curtains. Interior shutters embrace the feature and enhance it. They beautifully adapt to the shape of the bay window in a way that no other furnishing can. They maintain the character of the window and emphasize its special and unique look. Plantation shutters keep the space open and clear, allowing for radiators, furniture or simply open space. The room will look much more spacious. Bay window shutters are a feature that will also make a house stand out from the outside.
They allow complete light intake by folding the shutters or just opening the louvres. They also afford complete darkness and privacy when closed. The amazing versatility of plantation shutters allow for a combination of open and closed louvres (split louvre array) and panels (tier on tier), or even panels only covering the bottom part of the window (café style).
As well as providing great light and noise control and fantastic privacy, shutters have been proven to be the most energy efficient covering and will reduce energy bills. There are various categories of bay windows, including splay bay windows, box bay windows (90 degree bay or square bay) and bow bay windows, all of which consist of a number of windows next to each other. Plantation shutters will offer the best option to insulate from the heat and cold that can enter from all sides of a bay window.
What about the price of bay window shutters? Well, add up the cost of decent quality curtains, poles, accessories, dry cleaners, or the cost of the amount of blinds needed to cover the number of windows, as well as repair and replacement. Consider the long lasting quality of shutters and the fact that you will most likely never have to change them. And then think of how much the insulation would save on energy bills over the years and how much value shutters would add to your property. Although they might be a bigger original investment, shutters are undoubtedly the best value for money long term.
GET PLANTATION SHUTTERS TO KEEP YOU WARM THIS WINTER.
As well as giving a stunning elegant look to your room, interior shutters add an effective layer of insulation to your home. In fact, this is their primary purpose in life!
Plantation shutters first appeared in ancient Greece to protect properties from weather hazards and regulate the temperature inside the home. They since spread all over Europe and comprehensive research has evidenced the excellent capabilities of shutters as temperature regulators. They keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
As such, shutters can noticeably reduce your energy bills by reducing heat loss, controlling heat gain and making your home more energy efficient. A project funded by the Climate Challenge Fund evidenced this by concluding that shutters could ‘dramatically reduce energy bills’. The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust (EWHT) used thermal imaging cameras to show the most effective ways to avoid heat loss and save energy. They established that windows with the shutters closed showed up in the images in a deep blue colour, demonstrating little heat loss.
Figure 1 Source: EDINBURGH WORLD HERITAGE Energy Efficiency Guide
The United Nations RENFORUS (Renewable Energy Futures for UNESCO sites) also endorsed the results of the EWHT project; wooden shutters, amongst other things, can greatly improve the energy efficiency of traditional and historic homes, ‘enabling them to contribute to local and national carbon reduction targets.’
Research by the Glasgow Caledonian University was conducted to identify the effectiveness of the various heat loss reduction options. They tested a series of measures on a single glazed box sash window (which had been draught proofed).
It concluded that ‘secondary glazing was the most effective overall option, as it reduced heat loss through the window by 63%. Timber shutters are the most effective option of the traditional methods, reducing heat loss by 51%; Insulating the panels of the shutters further reduced heat loss by 60%; Curtains reduced heat loss by 14%; a Victorian roller blind reduced heat loss by 28%; a modern roller blind reduced heat loss by 22%.’
Research further demonstrated that fitting shutters improved the U-Value from 4.3 W/m²K to 2.2 W/m²K.
The combination of secondary glazing and shutters reduced heat loss by 75% and reduced the U-Value to 1.1 W/m²K.
With such compelling results, it is a no brainer. Whether you already have double glazing or not, shutters are definitely the way forward to make your home more energy efficient and save on your bills. As an added bonus, shutters will give your rooms a stunning makeover, add value to your house, increase privacy and security, reduce noise, save space and offer great versatility with ventilation and light control.
Figure 2 Source: Thermal Performance of Traditional Windows, by Paul Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University, for Historic Scotland.
Figure 3 Source: Thermal Performance of Traditional Windows, by Paul Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University, for Historic Scotland.
BS EN ISO 8990:1996, Thermal insulation. Determination of steady-state thermal transmission properties. Calibrated and guarded hot box, BSI, ISBN 0 580 26826 8  BS EN ISO 12567-1:2000,
Thermal performance of windows and doors. Determination of thermal transmittance by hot box method. Complete windows and doors, BSI, ISBN 0 580 36028 8