Let’s face the fact that windows are a great source of heat and light, but in the summer season, we don’t want the scorching heat outside to enter our comfort zone. Thus, this problem must be dealt with during the summer season because it has a drastic impact on your indoor temperature.
There are so many free, creative, economical, and graceful ways to block heat from windows throughout the summer season. Blocking heat and harmful radiations can significantly decrease the temperature indoors and one can maintain optimal temperature easily.
These methods not only help maintain a comfortable temperature inside but also you can save a lot of money by reducing the use of cooling systems. This will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
Let’s see what these methods are, how they can help, and how much money/effort is required.
Table of Contents
- 1. Hang Blankets Inside
- 2. Add a Reflective Window Film
- 3. Paper Blinds
- 4. Black Out Curtains
- 5. Plant a Tree Outside the Window
- 6. Create Shade Outside
- 7. Buy or DIY Exterior Window Covers
- 8. Interior Black Out Vinyl Blinds
- 9. Install Exterior Shutters
- Final Thoughts
1. Hang Blankets Inside
One of the cheapest, quickest, and easiest ways of blocking heat coming in from windows is the use of blankets. All you need is a thick fabric preferably dark-colored that can trap maximum heat. Woven, fleece, cotton, wool, or any other thick material can work. This is not the best solution, but certainly an effective one.
If you already have a curtain rod/rail, then hanging a blanket is not an issue, but what to do if you don’t have anything to hang? You can use temporary solutions such as double-sided tapes, removable hooks, and tension rods with self-adhesive rod brackets to hold blankets in place.
This is more of an instant way, but there are many other more effective and permanent solutions to beat the heat. So, keep scrolling!
2. Add a Reflective Window Film
Have you considered the use of reflective window film? Let me explain how it can protect you from heat and harmful UV rays
- It’s the thin film that helps maintain the room temperature by bouncing back 70% – 80% of the sun’s rays. This is how it helps reduce energy costs.
- It also reflects much of the UV rays so you can stay protected indoors.
- You also need not to worry about color fading of any furniture or decor stuff lying near windows.
- It works during wintertime as well by keeping the warmth inside, not allowing the heat to move out of the windows.
- There is another benefit of using a reflective window film and that is protecting your privacy.
How does it work?
The reflective window film is a thin film made up of plastic that when attached to windows, creates tiny air pockets. This is how it maintains the temperature inside while reflecting sun rays coming from outside.
How to Apply/Install a reflective window film?
Reflective window films can be applied on the inside of windows as well as the outside. It depends on which type of window film you are using. Mostly, in residential settings, people use it on the inside of windows.
Window films can be installed on your own or you can hire professionals who will make sure you get the best look and protection both.
If you want to install it by yourself, here is a quick guide:
- Clean the windows properly using glass cleaner/soapy water and make sure they are 100% dry, stains and streaks free.
- Measure the size of your window and cut the window film accordingly.
- Spray some soapy water on the inside of the window where you want to apply the window film. (Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=434QzIggJ9c)
- Window films are self-adhesive like mobile screen protectors so remove the backing carefully and start sticking it to the inside of your window.
- As you stick the window film on the soapy watered surface, it will help you to set the film on your window perfectly.
- Spray water on the film and use a squeegee to remove all the excess water on and in between the film and the glass. This will help you achieve professional results without any bubbles and perfectly placed on windows.
- It doesn’t block all the heat.
- If you are using a reflective film that blocks most of the natural light then you might miss enjoying natural light in winter.
3. Paper Blinds
The paper blinds work by blocking light. When the light is blocked, UV rays are blocked and the heat effect is also reduced. The main advantages of using paper blinds are
- Maximum UV Protection
- Maximum Privacy
- Energy Efficient
- Complete Blackout (light control)
- Child Safe
- Enhances the Beauty of Windows
- Easy to Apply and Remove
- Although paper blinds do a great job blocking light, they are not designed to stop heat/cold coming in from windows. They are effective, but if stopping heat is the major requirement, it can’t help much in maintaining the temperature inside.
4. Black Out Curtains
Have you ever considered using blackout curtains to block heat entering via windows? Blackout curtains are a great option if you want to kill two birds with one stone. They are usually thermally insulated and act as a barrier to heat and light from outside.
Similarly, it also creates a blockage for inside heat/cold air thus the temperature can be well maintained inside.
They look great and you can easily find colors that match your interiors.
But, its installation might require additional accessories such as curtain rods, hooks/rings, curtain rails, etc.
5. Plant a Tree Outside the Window
Have you ever given thought to tree plantations outside your window? Let’s count the benefits together
Small-sized trees can offer
- Better air quality
- Reduced temperature
- A natural air filter that can keep you away from pollutants
- Calming impact on mental and physical health
While tall trees can also offer the following
- Nice shade
6. Create Shade Outside
There are so many ways of creating a shade outside that not only enhances the grace of the exteriors but also helps in reducing the harsh impact of heat/weather conditions. You can use awnings, shade sails, bahama shades, pergola, pavilion, gazebo, trellis, vines, etc to avoid direct light and heat approaching your space via windows.
In case you are not familiar with any of these, here is a quick guide
Awning: You might have seen overhanging/extended covering above windows/doors that serve as a shade. These are awnings and have various material types, shapes, and sizes. Depending upon the location, weather conditions, and personal preferences, people use fabric, vinyl, aluminum, acrylic, polyester, etc.
Shade Sails: Shade sails is a durable fabric (water resistant) covering. It is a large fabric stretched and all four corners can be tied to a mounting. It is an economical option if you want to cover a large area outside.
Bahama Shades (hurricane shutters): These are exterior window shutters and their hinge can open up to 30 degrees because of the side arms. When open, the Bahama shades still cover most of the window ensuring less light and air coming in.
Pergola: An outdoor structure for partial shade made up of a slated roof standing on beams. This is mostly used along pathways and for garden settings. It helps cool down the temperature without blocking much of the light.
Pavilion: A pavilion is similar to a pergola, but it has a solid roof instead of open rafters.
Gazebo: This is very similar to a pavilion as it has a solid roof too, but it’s usually larger and used in open spaces such as public parks.
Trellis and Vines: An outdoor decorative fence usually made up of wood that can enhance the grace of climbing plants, and also keeps them sorted or well decorated. These fences can be installed alongside windows or above windows for shade, cooling effects, and for unique exterior designs.
7. Buy or DIY Exterior Window Covers
Did you know that you can add another layer of protection to your windows from the outside? There are various types of exterior window covers available in the market that can add an extra layer of protection to your windows and for the temperature indoors too.
There are exterior roller blinds, bamboo exterior window blinds, outdoor tarpaulin sheets, etc that can serve the purpose.
If you want to go for a DIY option, you can use bubble wrap or aluminum foil to keep the outside heat away and maintain an inside temperature easily. Bubble wrap has air pockets that can trap heat and don’t let the heat disturb your peace inside. Similarly, aluminum foil reflects heat which is again a good idea to keep the heat away. They work well to beat the heat but don’t look that nice.
8. Interior Black Out Vinyl Blinds
Blackout Vinyl blinds are another way to prevent heat and light from entering inside. These types of blinds are installed on the interior windows. We are using these blinds at our place and they are helping us in the following ways
- Prevent Heat and Light (control the amount/intensity by twisting the rod attached.
- Ensure Privacy
- Low Maintenance (No frequent cleaning or extra care required)
- Easy Installation
- Water-Resistant Material
- Budget-Friendly Option to Cover Windows
There are some downsides to these blinds as well
- Not Durable
Although they are made up of water-resistant material, the material is not so durable. It can bend easily. Once it’s bent to a certain limit it will stay bent and ultimately it will break.
- Insulation Issue
It is not a great way to prevent heat and light. Light can enter the room through the sides and small spaces between the blinds. Also, if the blinds do not have extra insulation, they will be absorbing heat and preventing it.
9. Install Exterior Shutters
How about if we choose to enhance the grace of the home/office exteriors and control heat as well? There is a permanent and sophisticated solution to this problem and that is exterior shutters.
Exterior shutters are available in various sizes, styles, and material types. You can choose which design and material (wood/aluminum/vinyl) can be best according to your space, requirements, and weather. Just to give you a better idea of exterior shutters, here is a list of pros and cons for you
- Do you know that with the help of exterior shutters you can save almost 40% – 50% of your energy costs? Yes, it doesn’t let the outside heat disturb the temperature inside.
- Undoubtedly, it adds to the beauty of your space’s exterior
- If you prefer an additional privacy, these shutters can surely help maintain it.
- Certainly, it’s an additional layer of safety from various weather conditions.
- If you are not using any curtains or blinds on the inside, and shutters only, it will make your rooms look wider and bigger.
- Not easy to install
- Not easy to maintain/clean
- Can be expensive (but surely it’s a one-time investment)
No sunlight can enter when the shutters are closed, this is both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on your requirement.
Honestly, it depends on your budget, requirement, and preferences, but in my humble opinion, you can choose a combination of options. If you live in a warm and sunny region, then go for long-lasting options such as protective window film and/or exterior shutters, but if you experience cold winters, go for outdoor bamboo blinds and insulated curtains inside so, you can simply open curtains and blinds for light.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.