Solar Heat Gain: What is it?

Solar Heat Gain: What is it?

June 9, 2017 0 By Vaughan Brothers

It’s summer. It’s sunny. It’s hot. Well, at least, it’s supposed to be… But even when it’s not sweltering outside, that doesn’t mean your home or office building isn’t absorbing the sun’s heat. Simply put, solar heat gain is how much heat is absorbed by your structure from the sun’s light.

Basically, the hotter the day, the more heat your building will absorb. The heat is transferred into your building through windows, doors, and cracks. Scientifically, and according to the US Department of Energy:

“Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC)is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window, door, or skylight — either transmitted directly and/or absorbed, and subsequently released as heat inside a home.”

So, what this means for homeowners and businesses is that during the summer, it’s important to have the right curtain fabrics, awnings fabrics, and other shade structures covering your windows and doorways to help reduce solar heat gain. For example, using a textile specifically designed to withstand the sun – like our Brun Tuff Vinyl – helps reduce solar heat gain.

Particularly for businesses, solar heat gain can increase energy bills and strain the load on the air conditioning unit. Restaurants and hotels with large and numerous windows and doorways are even more susceptible to solar heat gain than just a regular home; the more windows and doors, the more sunlight gets through. That’s why it’s important to use shade structures, drop screens, curtains, and other shade products.

Specialty fabrics, including our Sunforger Canvas, are specially developed to be resistant to uv rays, mold and mildew, and more. Specialty textiles are created to withstand the harsh elements, including the constant onslaught of the sun’s summer rays.

Now that you know a little more about solar heat gain and why it’s important to use shade structures and the right fabrics, let us know how we can help you with your next project by visiting us at or giving us a call at 1-800-444-4701.