This week’s Tuesday Tip, black-out your windows to reduce cool air from escaping. Living in a rental house with older, drafty windows has made me aware of how difficult heating and cooling a house can be without good sealant. Since I’m not going to replace the windows in my rental home, I’ve had to come up with less expensive alternatives instead.
Tip #24: Black-out your windows using drapes, blinds, shutters, or reflective film.
- Reflective film: One of the least expensive ways (besides a tube of caulk!) to reduce heat seepage is by purchasing a self-adhesive reflective film that you can cut any shape to fit your windows. It’s not the most attractive option, but it has definitely kept the heat out of our east and west facing windows. Note to self: Do not purchase a home that faces west!
- Dark-colored curtains. Curtains and drapes may sound passe, but you can still score some modern-looking curtains that are more attractive than flimsy blinds. When we first changed out our cheap, flimsy blinds, we opted for a rust-colored drape for the fore-most facing window. The curtains, along with the reflective film, minimize the amount of summer sun that bakes our computers.
- Shutters or wood/faux-wood blinds. As much as I would have loved to install shutters on the outsides of our windows to block the heat, it just wasn’t in our budget and didn’t make financial sense considering we live in a rental house. Instead, we purchased faux-wood blinds for much less. The thicker, wider levelor’s block out quite a bit of heat as compared to the less expensive, thinner metal ones.
Keeping the heat out is better for the environment.
- Reducing the amount of heat that seeps in means using the air-conditioner less often. There are still days when I need to turn on the air conditioner. However, by blocking most of the sun’s heat out, I can turn the air on later in the day running it less often. This saves electricity, which means I’m reducing my carbon footprint.