The hot summer sun can feel great outside by the pool, but no one wants to bring the heat inside with them. Sweating in your own home after coming in from a hot day isn’t a fun feeling. So, when it comes to blocking the sun’s rays from increasing indoor temperatures, insulating windows for summer is your best bet.
Why insulating windows for summer is essential
The windows in your home are critical to efficient insulation. A whopping 76% of our sun’s energy that penetrates windows is heat rather than light. This is why summer-proofing your windows is key to preventing your home from burning up. Plus, it also keeps the cool AC air from leaking out.
Top DIY projects that insulate windows for summer
There are many simple ways to insulate windows to keep heat out during the scorching summer months. We’ve provided a rundown of a few of the most popular strategies to beat the heat.
Get crafty with draft snakes
A draft snake (also called a “draft stopper” or “blocker”) is a cloth tube that resembles the shape of a snake. It can be filled with rice, batting, cotton– any kind of insulation material. Although you can find it in stores, making one yourself gives you the creative freedom to customize the size and color. This way, you can design it to match your windows’ size and style.
Draft snakes help keep heat out of windows when they’re placed across the cracks around windows. Thus, they’re a cheap and fun way to insulate windows for summer.
Get fancy with drapes
Drapes are fabric interior coverings that hang from the top of a window down to the floor. When hung close to windows, they can block up to 33% of solar heat gains. So, they’re an effective way for reducing heat during the scorching summer months. Plus, they also give an old-time, elegant feel to your home’s aesthetic.
Drapes are also a smart idea for insulating apartment windows. This is because hanging your fancy drapes won’t cause any permanent damage to the window frame. Thus, you won’t have to worry about violating your lease terms as a renter.
A blackout curtain or drape is designed to obstruct sunlight from entering your interior space and turning your living room into a sauna. These types of drapes are thicker and heavier than standard ones. So, they’re typically better at insulating windows for summer.
In addition to blocking sunlight, the backside of blackout drapes (the side of the drape that faces the window) is reflective. This makes them effective at bouncing back light and heat.
You can find blackout drapes in pretty much any general merchandise big-box retailer. Cost-effective and easy to put together, they make a perfect DIY project!
Get smart with weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is one of the most popular DIY options for homeowners. This is because it’s inexpensive, simple, and quick to do. Adding weatherstripping seals the air leaks that surround windows. This said, this approach is especially beneficial for old windows that are warped or have gaps.
The materials required for weatherstripping vary depending on the type of window. But, you’ll typically need foam, metal, vinyl, or felt for the stripping material. You’ll also need an adhesive or a good old hammer and nail, depending on how you’ll attach the strips.
Get economical with bubble wrap
Bubble wrap insulation can be easily made with any type of bubble wrap with medium to large-sized bubbles. This is a great option when you need to insulate windows for summer because it’s such an easy and cheap project.
All you have to do is spray some water onto the inside of your window and then stick the wrap on. You can measure and cut the wrap first, so it perfectly fits your window.
Also, since most packages come with bubble wrap, chances are you already have it and won’t have to go out and buy any. But, if you do need to buy some, it’s very inexpensive, as you can get about 50 ft of this wrap for ten bucks at most stores.
Get practical with cellular shades
Installing cell shades is a smart way to change your home’s summer environment to satisfy your cooling needs. They can be a cheap way to block heat from windows, depending on what exact style or brand of cellular shades you buy. Cell shades purchased online can range anywhere between $20 and $200. But, whatever you pay, you’ll get your bang for your buck with these shades.
Cellular shades are the most energy-efficient of all types of window coverings. They’re made of pleated material layers that make an accordion shape when expanded to cover the window. Each cell in a cell shade is an air/side pocket that effectively reduces heat transfer.
These shades also have the highest R-values among all window coverings. This makes them a top choice for heat protection during the summer.
What does R-value mean?
The R-value is a measurement that gives the overall rating of a window’s thermal resistance. The higher the window’s R-value is, the higher its insulating value is.
Insulate windows for summer with the help of a professional
If you don’t have the time for a DIY project this summer, don’t sweat it! You can hire a professional to help you determine and install the best option to keep the sun’s heat out of your home.
Give your home privacy with window films
Laminated plastic film insulates windows for summer and also prevents furniture from fading. This is because the film used to insulate windows is highly reflective, which means that it reflects the sun’s energy out of your house by blocking UV rays.
Another benefit of their reflective nature is the added element of privacy. As the film bounces light away from your home’s interior, it makes it difficult for neighbors to see inside.
Installing insulated window films for summer can be a DIY project. But, spacing and placement of the film are crucial to its effectiveness. So, contacting a professional is recommended.
Give your home a makeover with awnings
Before we were graced with the cooling benefits of AC, awnings were one of the most popular ways to keep heat out of buildings and homes. Today, they still make great window insulators as they can reduce heat gains by up to 77%.
Awnings resemble fabric, roof-like shelters that are placed on a window’s exterior side. They shade windows from the sun’s harsh glare and heat.
Pro-tip! Choose an awning with light-colored fabric. Light colors will reflect more sunlight than dark colors.
Give your home an upgrade with energy-efficient windows
Perhaps you’ve already tried the above methods for insulating windows for summer, yet, you still have unbearable window heat. If this is the case, it might be time to invest in energy-efficient windows.
These types of windows make it incredibly difficult for heat to penetrate your home. Likewise, they also make it very tough for the cool AC air in your home to escape. This is because they’re installed with weather-tight construction, UV ray blocking finishes, and low-emissivity glass panes.
Your sweat-free summer
Use this guide to help you choose the optimal method for insulating windows for summer. You can also check out Climate Seal’s product page. We offer the best solutions to keep the summer heat off your back when you’re inside.