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Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

Last post 05-03-2008 2:26 PM by csunshineq. 9 replies.
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  • 03-14-2008 9:53 PM

    Inflation fighter [IF] Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

     Hello--

    I live in Texas (very, very hot in the summer) and am dreading the coming utility bills for cooling my home.  Do the insulating drapes/liners that you can buy really make a difference in your utility bill?   Is there something I can make that would accomplish the same thing?  I have to air condition my home to some degree because of my pets. It was 92 degrees today!  Thanks for your help!


    Frugal Girl

     

  • 03-15-2008 10:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    92!  Holy cats!!  I don't know the definite answer to your question, but could offer an idea that may help.  Insulated/lined drapes are pretty expensive.  This is what I did as a cheap frugal solution to try and keep in the heat this winter, which I don't know... may or may not work for your opposite needs.  All you could do is try I guess, see if it makes a difference!  If you find it does, you might get insulated/lined drapes later after doing this kind of "test".

    Get tension rods to put at the top of your windows.  I got some cheaper thick quilt-like material which was black on one side, white on the other.  In your case, you'd put the white side out to reflect against the sun's rays.  I simply used bigger safety pins to make a loop at one end and inserted the tension rod to hang up these "blinds".

    It's not the prettiest solution, but the tension rods at least are easy to take down and put back up when needed.  In my case, this setup fit under my other curtains.  The only problem I had was with my sliding glass doors.  You can get tension rods for that length, but on mine, installing didn't work because of the screen slider.  (Guess I could have used big clips to hang up a large blanket, clipping to a regular rod of some sort.)

  • 03-15-2008 10:45 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on 03-06-2007
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    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    If sunshine comes in your windows at all, insulating against that will make a definite difference, but even if you don't get direct sunshine, windows allow a lot of heat exchange, so insulation will help. I insulated last year against the cold by putting a heavier curtain behind the regular ones. My windowframes are metal so I bought heavy duty magnets and put them up with that. Later, I realized that I could have simply pinned the outer curtain to the inner one, so it could be opened and closed easier.

     

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  • 03-18-2008 2:50 PM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on 03-06-2007
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    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

     Another thing that would help is to shade your windows somehow. An awning or potted plants placed strategically will make a definite difference.

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  • 03-18-2008 4:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    Frugal Girl,

    I was just thinking about the same thing! I live in southern Louisiana and we have the same problem with the heat and high electric bills (especially because we live in a trailer). I have managed to get ours down significantly by hanging clothes to dry, using CFL bulbs, etc. but I know that when the summer really kicks in that there is only so much I can do becuase of the air conditioner.

    We have pull down shades on our windows. We just got the cheapest ones Walmart had and put them up about 2 years ago. Our bill is still high but we did see a big difference. During the day, as long as they are all down, the place is pitch black. So, you might want to try getting some of those.

    I am interested to see the responses to this post because I, too, am looking for more ways to cut down on the heat. The summers get so hot and humid here that the air conditioners just can't keep up.

    God bless,

    Julie

  • 03-18-2008 10:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

     I do have some trees but I think I am going to look at adding some more to shade the house. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • 03-18-2008 10:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    Put up a shade type film on the sunny side of the house and insolation curtins in texas we had the windows open late night when it cooled down then when it started to get warm close windows and pull the shades at least its a few degrees less then 92 degrees that way,the rest your on your own, I also use a electric fan on the upper and lower parts of the house to keep air flowing ...

  • 05-01-2008 1:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    i have canvas awnings on the west side windows.  they have paid for themselves many times over, keeping the rooms much cooler!  also, you can buy black-out cloth at joann fabric.  i attach it to the back of the curtains, whitest side towards the window.  this requires no sewing at all, it does not fray.  and when i'm really busted, i've taped aluminum foil to the windows to keep the heat and sun out!

  • 05-01-2008 8:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    frugalgirl:

     Hello--

    I live in Texas (very, very hot in the summer) and am dreading the coming utility bills for cooling my home.  Do the insulating drapes/liners that you can buy really make a difference in your utility bill?   Is there something I can make that would accomplish the same thing?  I have to air condition my home to some degree because of my pets. It was 92 degrees today!  Thanks for your help!


    Frugal Girl

     

    Frugalgirl, you've gotten some good advice. The only thing I want to add is to make sure you have adequate insulation in the attic. The same principals apply in summer as in winter. Up north, in the winter, we are always looking to keep the warm air in, where as in the summer you look to keep the hot air out. Although we have some pretty hot spells here in the summer I know it doesn't match what comes in the summer down south. We have pull down shades on our windows and that helps a lot, but am looking forward to getting some good drapes this year if I can find them at the right price. I used tension rods with fleece from the fabric store. I simply made a pocket at the top and bottom of the fleece and put them up underneath the curtains. I didn't have to sew them. I just measured the inner diamensions of the windows and gave an extra 4" in length to allow for the pockets. Then I used the iron on tape to bond the seams.

    Kathy

  • 05-03-2008 2:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Does Insulating Windows in the Summer Really Help?

    I live in an manufacted home that has windows all along my back wall in my kitchen and dining room, with no shade trees. The blinds that came in the home did little to help so I found some curtains at wal-mart that are amost as thick and denim but they are a tan color with the tab tops they work great and knocking the heat out and it made a big change in our light bill. Also our bedroom got the blazing sun in the morning and I bought some dark burgandy cutains that are not thick at all but they are almost like black out shades due to the color of them I guess. In the middle of the day you have to pull the curtains back to see in our bedroom.

    I hope you find something that works well for  you.

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