Tuesday Tips, Week 24

Posted by in Alternative & Eco-Living, Articles | 11 comments

Tuesday Tips, Just Another Great Post from Little House

Tuesday Tips, Just Another Great Post from Little House. I'm so humble.

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.

Reducing the heat escaping or entering through windows can save a lot of money on heating and cooling a home.
  • 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.
Do you take advantage of good window treatments? Have you noticed a significant difference in using the air conditioner or heater less?

11 Comments

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  1. Everyday Tips

    I love my west facing house, as I love watching storms come in from the west. However, my front door takes a beating. I found I can’t buy anything that has a wood frame (windows).

    I also love my room-darkening blinds. I get great sleep, and they work excellent at keeping the sun out.

    I also miss our tree that was out front as that kept our house somewhat shaded. But the emerald ash borer came in and killed all the ash trees.

    • Little House

      @Everyday Tips – I didn’t think about how the weather wears out west facing walls and windows more quickly. I guess that would be another great reason to purchase plantation-type shutters (maybe not unfinished wood ones, though). Trees are blessings; our tree in front of our bedroom really blocks the afternoon sun keeping it slightly cooler than the rest of the house.

  2. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

    I love the dark when I sleep, so our bedroom window has that blue styrofoam covered by blinds covered by blackout curtains covered by a fleece blanket. I LOVE IT!

  3. The Yakezie

    Thnx for the tips. Heavy curtains also help deaden the curtains.

    Also, good to see you have Commentluv on your site, as we’re testing it out now on Yakezie.com and seeing if it works on other sites. Looks like it does!
    .-= The Yakezie´s last blog ..The Millionaire Nurse Blog- AKA Dr Dean’s Baby! =-.

  4. The Yakezie

    Oops, not deaden the curtains, deaden the sound from outside with heavy curtains!
    .-= The Yakezie´s last blog ..Welcome To The Yakezie! =-.

  5. Money Reasons

    Great article, you would be surprised the number of otherwise intelligent people that don’t realize the points you mention above! My wife was a non-believer until I proved it to her!

    I’m with Everyday Tips and Budgeting In The Fun Stuff (BITFS), I like my bedroom dark as a cave, so those insulated curtains work like a charm for that purpose too!

    • Little House

      @Money Reasons – It’s sort of like a science experiment; the heat seeps in through the windows, but is absorbed through curtain material or blinds/shutters. As for sleeping in a dark cave, I actually like my windows wide open at night. But I live in an area where it may be 90+ degrees during the day, but still cools down to the 60’s at night. (SoCal weather rocks!)

      @Nicole – Vertical blinds need not be ugly. I live in a rental and purchased a few faux-wood blinds through blinds.com. They have very reasonable prices. Just be sure you know how to measure a window!

      @Penny – Thanks for mentioning the roller blind and cellular blinds. I don’t have any on my windows, but a couple of years back I was toying with the idea of purchasing them instead of the verticals and curtains. I applaud you for sewing your own curtains, if only I was so skilled!

  6. Nicole

    We definitely need to do this. Not only our are window treatments not very weahter efficient, but both sides of our family have taken us aside to explain how out of date and ugly the vertical blinds that came with the house are. Yeah yeah. We need to hire someone just to take care of everything.

  7. Penny Frugalista

    Since I can sew a bit, I took it upon myself to make heavy room-darkening curtains for most of our windows. And the windows that get the most sun also have either thick roller shades or cellular shades for an extra heat-repelling layer. Plus, it’s great for keeping the cold out in the winter, too. I did splurge on buying drapes for the living room, though — they’re double-layered for extra insulation.
    .-= Penny Frugalista´s last blog ..The Painfully Expensive Month of August =-.

  8. youngandthrifty

    Lol Deaden the curtains? =)

    Great tip! Beats the ugly venetian blinds I have for sure. =P
    .-= youngandthrifty´s last blog ..AC or Windows Down Which One Is Better for Fuel Economy =-.

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