Summer is here, and it is hotter than ever! Identifying the sources of your home’s insulation problems is the first step to staying cool in the summer. 9 times out of 10, that source is your windows.
Windows allow harmful UV rays to enter your home that bring heat and can fade and damage your furniture and valuables. If that wasn’t enough, uninsulated windows also let airborne grime and traffic noise filter into your home and disrupt your daily life.
Fortunately, there are about as many different ways to insulate windows against heat as there are summer days to enjoy the warm weather. But there’s no single best way to insulate windows for summer, and it can be hard to choose between all the different methods out there.
Let’s try to narrow the insulating options down with these five tips that are sure to keep your house cool and your energy bills low.
1. Close Your Curtains
This might seem a bit obvious, but curtains are just one of many cheap ways to insulate windows for summer. By shielding your windows with curtains, you’re keeping out the heat that the sunlight brings in.
If you don’t want to close all your curtains and turn your home into a cave, prioritize covering the windows on the south-facing side of your home. This is the side of your house that faces the sun for most of the day, so blocking the sunlight here will be most effective in keeping out the heat.
The only downside that comes with insulating with curtains is that it can be hard to get the right amount of shade that you want. You can either let too much light in and receive less privacy, or get too little light and feel like a hermit. Curtains will also inevitably fade from having to soak up all the UV radiation that passes through your windows and are poor at blocking noise and outside dust. Thankfully, there’s more than one effective way to keep out the heat.
2. Install Shutters
Shutters are a great, versatile option when it comes to weatherproofing windows for the summer. They protect your windows during summer storms, they’re great aesthetic additions to your home’s exterior, and they come in about as many varieties as you can imagine. Think of shutters as a double investment — they protect and project the value of your home.
Of course, shutters can be costly to both purchase and to install. If you are already happy with your current shutters or are unable to replace them, there are still plenty of options to insulate your windows against heat.
3. Add Reflective Window Film
Though this might sound a bit sci-fi, using reflective window film is a cost-efficient way of cutting down on UV light. According to the Department of Energy, “Window films help block against solar heat gain and protect against glare and ultraviolet exposure. They are best used in climates with long cooling seasons, because they also block the sun’s heat in the winter.”
Because reflective window films are adhesives, you might as well consider them a permanent fixture on your windows. No one likes to scrape adhesives off of glass. If you plan on using window films, be comfortable using them for the long run.
4. Install New, Energy-Efficient Windows
For most homeowners, this is the go-to option. However, replacing your window is expensive and rarely actually necessary. When replacing windows, you will have to choose between doing a few at a time, which means your issues will take a long time to be fully resolved, or doing all of them at once, which is exorbitantly expensive and not everyone can afford to replace all the single-pane windows in their house or apartment.
Installation is a time-consuming hassle, and if you live in a historic home, this method might be completely out of the question. Plus, there’s the question of what to do with the old windows. They can’t be recycled, so all of those windows will end up in the landfill. The good news: It is still possible to get all the benefits of a double-pane window without paying the price for replacement or reinstallation.
5. Install Window Inserts
Window inserts are a great relief to homeowners and renters everywhere who are looking for a quick and easy solution to keep out that summer heat and UV radiation. If you were wondering how to insulate single-pane windows for summer, a window insert is an easy way to turn a single-pane into a double-pane.
Window inserts can serve many different insulation purposes at once. If you’re looking to catch some sleep on those short summer nights, there are window inserts that serve as black-out curtains for a peaceful night’s rest. There are also inserts for noise cancellation, privacy, and even for museum-grade protection against UV radiation.
If you live in a historic home and can’t replace your single-paned windows, inserts are a perfect fit for your problem. Take this couple in Charleston, South Carolina for instance.
They beat the summer heat and the city traffic noise in their 19th century home by taking advantage of their recessed windows. When they placed inserts into these recesses, they created a large pocket of air that halved the street noise and put a dent in their energy bill to boot.
Window inserts themselves are highly customizable. Companies like Indow Windows will send you a kit so you can take laser-precision measurements to ensure that your inserts will fit your existing frames, maximizing insulation as well as noise reduction and air pollution. All of this adds up to a nearly 20% reduction in your annual energy bills.
But if you’ve installed window inserts and you’re still struggling to keep your home cool, Indow has even more simple tips to defeat the heat. If you like what you’ve seen so far, head over to Indow and see what they can do for your home and get a free estimate. Start spending less time worrying about summer and more time enjoying it.