How to Keep a Home Cool With Window Coverings

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Keeping your home cool can be a challenge, especially during the summer when increased use of air conditioning and fans drives up your energy bill. In addition to the discomfort of hot weather, frequent exposure to sunlight will cause carpeting, furnishings and interior wall finishes to fade. Window coverings come in many styles and can help control heat and sun exposure and also add decorative flair to your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Drapes
  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Sunscreens
  • Window tints
  • Hang thermal drapes on your home's windows. Decorative thermal drapes will help prevent heat from entering your home and can be custom-tailored to the decor of a room.

  • Install white blinds with the drapes. The white color will reflect heat away from windows. Close drapes and blinds on windows whenever the sun directly faces them. This means that you should close drapes and blinds on east-facing windows in the morning and west-facing windows in the afternoon.

  • Put white vinyl roller shades on your windows instead of drapes and blinds. Although shades are not the best option if you want to let light filter into your home during the day, they can be more effective than blinds and drapes in keeping out heat.

  • Install sunscreens, which are more efficient than blinds, drapes or vinyl shades. Sunscreens are made of specially woven fiberglass and are designed to keep out 70 percent of incoming sunlight. Sunscreens are mounted inside aluminum or wood frames on the exterior of a window and should cover the entire window. They allow you to look outdoors, but people outside cannot see through them into your home's interior. Sunscreens work whether a window is closed or open. They keep insects out of your home even if the window is open and reduce sun damage to furniture.

  • Put window tints, or solar window film, on the interior side of your windows. Tints are usually more affordable than sunscreens and can be quite decorative. Like sunscreens, window tints can reflect and absorb up to 70 percent of incoming solar heat. Window tints also provide maximum privacy, preventing people outside from seeing inside your home during the day.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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