Shutters are a popular accessory for windows because they can add both style and functionality to a home. They come in three major types: interior, exterior, and storm (or hurricane) shutters.
Although many models of shutters have some practical purpose, interior shutters tend to be more decorative in nature. The exception to this general rule occurs when there are deeply recessed windows. Then, anything attached to the exterior of the home would be difficult to access from the inside.
Louvers are often an integral part of the design of interior shutters. These give you the ability to adjust light levels easily and ensure privacy. Shutters also provide unique character to the home’s décor since they are a much less common accent than blinds.
Exterior shutters tend to be more practical and will usually provide a bit more seasonal protection from the elements. The additional air cavity between the shutter and the glass helps protect the window panes from ice, rain and wind. Exterior shutters can usually be easily opened or shut from inside the house.
Of course, some exterior shutters are just for show. They are simply designed to add visual interest to the outside of the home. These are permanently fixed in an open position on either side of the front windows.
Storm or hurricane shutters have very sturdy design features. They seal in the windows completely during extreme weather events. Many models can handle winds over 70 miles per hour and can withstand some debris hitting them. These are especially necessary for homes located along the coast where they are potential targets for tropical or water enhanced winter storms.
In areas in the U.S. where blizzards are common, shutters may also be used for additional insulation. Maintenance includes making sure they are in working condition and protecting them from the elements with a good coat of paint or varnish.