How to Reduce Indoor Heat Gain From Windows

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How to Reduce Indoor Heat Gain From Windows. When the summer sun heats up, so do your windows, and the warmth can put a strain on your home cooling system as well as your budget. Here are some ways to turn down the temperature.

Things You'll Need

  • Low-e Windows
  • Fabrics
  • Honeycomb Pleated Window Shades
  • Rolling-style Window Shades
  • Shade Cloth
  • Sheer Curtains
  • Spring-tension Curtain Rods
  • Trees
  • Two-inch Wooden Venetian Blinds
  • Vertical Blinds
  • Window Films
  • Wooden Exterior Shutters
  • Install energy-efficient low-e (low-emissivity) windows. Note that soft-coat low-e windows provide somewhat higher efficiency than hard-coat low-e windows.

  • Plant a tree to shade a hot window. Choose a deciduous tree if you want the sun to warm the window in wintertime.

  • Install wood shutters (either colonial or plantation style) or two-inch-wide wooden venetian blinds over the window and close them when the sun beams directly in. Wood has excellent heat-blocking properties.

  • Hang pleated window shades with three (or at least two) layers of honeycomb fabric.

  • Apply a thermal window film. Do-it-yourself films are available at home centers.

  • Layer traditional window treatments by putting generously shirred sheers (don't let them touch the glass) followed by an air gap and then a lined window treatment that you close during the heat of the day. The air gaps between the glass, the sheers, and the lined window treatment provide insulation.

  • Line draperies with suedelike, thermal fabric.

  • Mount a roller shade behind your curtains or drapes and pull it down during the heat of the day. Or install a custom-made foil-core roller shade that's energy-efficient enough to be a stand-alone heat barrier.

  • Select the right vertical blinds if that's your window treatment of choice. Choose curved louvers with fabric inserts that close snugly for the best barrier; you can enhance their efficiency with a window shade installed behind the vertical blinds.

  • Sew your own "sheers" out of white shade cloth, a sun-filtering mesh sold at garden centers.

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