As the summer heat goes up, everyone looks for ways in which they can keep their home cool without a spike in their energy bills. The key is to keep out the sunlight and warmth as much as possible and make sure your home is shaded from the sun. From choosing the right window coverings to keeping your home shaded and taking certain steps to minimize sun exposure- there are a few things that you can do to keep your home cool.
This post shares some tips on keeping your home as cool as possible during the summer, primarily using windows treatments.
Generic Tips to Keep Your Home Cool:
Before we specifically discuss the various ways in which window coverings can lower the temperature inside the house, here are a few general tips to keep your house cool:
- Keep your window blinds shut, particularly on the side that receives direct sunlight during the day.
- Plant low-shrubs under the windows and other foliage around the house which will stop heat from seeping in from the windows and roof. Also, consider planting a large and shady tree near the house so that it will cast a shadow when the sun shines during the day.
- Keep the windows open and the window coverings drawn out of the way during the night to allow the cooler night breeze circulate all night, lowering the temperature of the house.
- Leave the doors inside the house open to promote the internal air circulation while the windows are shut during the day.
- Use the grill more often so that you do not have to use the oven inside the house as the fumes and smoke from cooking can increase the overall temperature indoors.
- Invest in blackout curtains and blinds which have insulating properties that can keep your home cooler during the summer and prevent the heat from seeping in.
- Keep iced drinks in stock and use a damp cloth to mop your neck and other pulse points to lower the body temperature which in turn, will keep you more relaxed during the summers. Hygiene and choice of clothes also influence your body temperature and should be done carefully.
Window Coverings for Lowering the Room Temperature:
To reduce the heat seeping inside the house, choosing the right window covering is important. The following are certain window treatments that are suitable for the summer months.
1. Curtains and drapes
This is a popular choice for window covering in the summer among many homeowners looking for a solution that looks elegant and soft. While choosing curtains and drapery, certain factors should be taken into account:
- The fabric must be carefully chosen. While linen and cotton are lightweight and blocks the sunlight, it does not provide adequate insulation and lets some of the cool air within the house to eventually seep out. Blackout drapes made with heavier fabric like velvet is a good choice to block out the sun completely and keep the room cool. But do remember to open them after sunset to let in the cool breeze at night.
- Neutral light colours or bright and medium-toned pastels shades are the best colour for the curtain and drapery fabric used during summer. To further lower the temperature inside the house, choose drapery fabric with medium toned colour and white plastic backing which is known to reduce the heat gain inside the house by 33%.
- The drapery should be hung as close to the window as possible to reduce the heat loss and should fall past the window sill or on the floor. To keep the drapes in place you can add magnetic tapes or Velcro at the sides so that it adheres to the wall. All these precautions can give the maximum effectiveness and reduce heat loss up to 25 %.
2. Insulated cellular shades
These shades are made of pleated material that stacks up at the top of the window, accordion-like because of its honeycomb cross-section. These shades have air pockets in the shape of honeycomb which reduces the heat conduction through the window.
Some advantages of insulated cellular shades are:
- It significantly reduces the energy bills because of the high insulation it provides and adds to the resale value of your home.
- They also protect your privacy and comfort level as these opaque but lightweight window coverings are not see-through and keeps the heat at bay.
- Choose cellular shades which operate on side tracks to get the maximum utility from them during the summer as it is the most effective in maximizing the R-value of your windows.
Blinds- whether vertical or horizontal are the most effective in reducing heat gain than heat loss. The adjustable slats are helpful in keeping the heat out of your house but are equally responsible for letting the cool air in the house escape. The best ways to make blinds work for reducing heat gain during the summer are as follows:
- Choose highly reflective blinds and keep them completely closed during the summer. This will significantly reduce heat gain within the house.
- Instead of slatted blinds, consider roman shades and roller blinds for your home during the summer in light-weight and reflective fabrics. Since these window coverings typically fit the window sill perfectly and sit as close to the window as possible, the heat loss is minimal.
- Choose the fabric, weave, colour and fabric weight carefully for the best thermal performance. However, they do not provide much insulation and is best for securing your privacy, blocking the direct sunlight and darkening the room.
- Use the window blinds along with curtains and drapes if preventing heat gain is the primary concern as a homeowner as this will have the maximum effect.
The sweltering heat of the summer is often too much to be when you are outdoors and everyone wants some relief from it at least while they are home. Designing your home interior plan accordingly is the wisest choice. Keeping the performance of different window coverings against the summer heat in mind, will help you choose the right option when you are visiting the store.