Window Treatments for Greenhouses: Are They Worth It?
Greenhouses rely on their structure to get the appropriate amount of sunlight, humidity, and other growing conditions for the plants. With the right design and material, a greenhouse should control how much of these external elements penetrate the building.
But even double-paned greenhouse windows may not be enough to withstand the changing seasons and fluctuating temperatures. This is why many homeowners invest in greenhouse window shade covers, blinds, and other treatments.
Before we go into how window treatments improve the energy efficiency of your greenhouse, it’s important to understand how these structures lose, gain, and transfer heat in the first place.
Greenhouse Design and Energy Efficiency
The type of greenhouse you have can make it more difficult for you to control the temperature inside the structure and your home. For example, a lean-to greenhouse, or one that’s attached to your house, leaches and transfers heat to the adjacent structure. Compared to a freestanding greenhouse, it’s more energy efficient when it comes to heating.
However, a lean-to greenhouse encounters one problem: shadowing. The house casts a shadow over the structure, which leads to reduction of sunlight. This is why most greenhouses of this design are set up on the south-facing side of the building.
Regardless of the design of your greenhouse, the entire structure remains susceptible to sharp drops and rises in temperature. The sun shifts throughout the day as well, exposing some parts of the garden to sunlight more than the other areas.
This is where window treatments come in. Shades, covers, blinds, curtains, and film reduce heat absorbed by the greenhouse by blocking a percentage of the sun’s rays.
Greenhouse Window Treatments
You have several options when it comes to window treatments. They vary in application, purpose, and price. Evaluate your needs first before making a decision (and we’re happy to help answer any questions).
The main function of greenhouse curtains is shading and energy savings. They affect light, temperature, humidity, and airflow, offering excellent climate control. Some curtains have light diffusion screens, which helps scatter sunlight more evenly through the greenhouse.
This window treatment should be thick enough to prevent dehydration, but not too much that it slows down the growth of your plants. The shade cover you choose will depend on the type of plants you have. Sun-loving plants may need a thinner cover, whereas sensitive ones may require a stronger shade.
Whether you’ll place the shade inside or outside the greenhouse also depends on your type of plants. Shading on the outside offers better temperature reduction, but it exposes the window treatment to more abuse from external conditions.
Blinds are the most aesthetically appealing among the three, although they’re pricier as well. The advantage of greenhouse blinds is their retractability. You can roll them up or down depending on the day’s weather. Greenhouse blinds are also the most durable since they’re made of hard-wearing materials, such as wood or plastic. Automated blinds are also available, so you won’t have to roll them up or down manually.
When assessing what type of window treatment to buy for your greenhouse, keep the needs of your garden in mind. Don’t forget to consider the position and design of your structure to ensure effective protection from excessive sunlight.
We are here as expert greenhouse architects to help you figure out what’s best for your situation. Unlike many US companies, we specialize in covering roof glass and slope-glazing – we know what we’re doing, and we have decades of experience that help us understand the best practices for glass coverings.
Luxury Greenhouse Builder in Minneapolis
Conservatory Craftsmen builds greenhouses, garden rooms, and other residential structures that allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want. Using advanced technology, our greenhouses offer maximum energy efficiency balanced with aesthetically appealing exteriors.
Email us today to learn about our services and products.