Americans select window treatments for privacy, energy efficiency, and light control. However, the majority of the interior window treatments chosen in the U.S. don’t work efficiently. Mini blinds, vertical blinds, curtains, cellular shades, wood blinds, and interior shutters don’t stop the undesired elements from entering the home. Plus, interior window treatments provide zero security and wind driven rain protection and very little noise control. Europeans have used exterior shutter blinds, and shades for more than a century. Rolling shutters are on the exterior of most every home throughout Europe to stop the summer’s heat BEFORE entering the home. The shutters insulate the window in the winter and also provide added security and noise control.
Putting the window treatments on the exterior will be a shift for North Americans, but doing so will save them money in energy costs versus using interior mini blinds. Exterior rolling shutters are also referred to as shutter blinds or security blinds. A window shutter on the exterior will create air space insulation between the shutter and the glass. This air space protects in both winter and summer. In summer, the sun’s rays bounce off the rolling shutter, hurricane fabric, or hurricane-security mesh before entering and heating up the home.
There are many choices for interior window treatments, but there are also a lot to choose from on the exterior. First, one must consider the aesthetics and the operation of the exterior treatment. Do you want to add an accent using a colonial or bahama shutter-possibly with a vibrant color? Or, do you want to build the shutter box into the soffit and have the protective exterior curtain disappear when not in use? Some lesser used side windows might just need polycarbonate panels left up for the season to protect the window. A patio door that gets operated frequently may benefit from a manual egress push-up/pull-down rolling shutter. However, each opening must be assessed with egress/exit safety access and at least one bedroom window shutter and entry doors need to have manual overrides for escape during emergencies.
Operating the exterior shutter can be as simple as reaching out the window to pull it closed or full motor controls with computer operation or smart phone apps. Consulting a Roll-a-way expert (866-749-5424) who can assess the home’s requirements and who can balance the homeowner desires is recommended.