As summer rolls in and temperatures rise in Las Vegas, keeping cool is sure to be foremost on your mind. This is particularly true for those residing in desert environments. Air conditioning is a must, of course, but don’t forget your windows. You need to keep that stifling air outside where it belongs, and that means performing a bit of window fortification.
Insulating your windows is not that hard, and your choices for getting this done need not break the bank. Here are a few tips for doing just that.
- Bring out the weatherstripping. Already a go-to solution for keeping out chilly air in the winter months, the addition of weatherstripping is also a terrific way to stop sweltering summertime air in its tracks. You have your choice of materials here, but make sure that whatever type you select is suited to your environmental conditions.
- Hang on to your bubble wrap. This material is good for more than just packing and popping. When added to your windows, it acts as an extra glass pane, and a quick spritz with plain water is all it takes to get the wrap to stick. While this material does somewhat alter the view, it does the insulating job at little expense and peels off easily when no longer needed. Any size of bubble will do, but most people prefer the medium to large dimension since this will generate the least distortion.
- Invest in a set of insulating shutters. When properly sized and installed, shutters create an effective barrier that thwarts the transmission of hot outside air and helps to reduce your energy costs. What’s more, they add an incomparable decorative touch to any room in which you choose to place them.
- Consider installing cellular shades. An attractive insulation solution for the windows in any room, cell shades contain built-in pockets that trap the air and help to keep your interior at its desired temperature. A useful remedy all year round, these decorative shades can reduce up to 56 percent of heat gain in the summer while preventing winter-time heat loss by up to 22 percent.
- Try reflective window film. This material works by bouncing the sunlight back outside instead of allowing it to permeate your rooms. While helping to keep your interior cool, it also increases privacy, fortifies the glass against damage and prevents the sunlight from damaging your furnishings. It also comes in colors that enhance your decor. Reflective film does, however, have its downside. Your neighbors might object to the generated glare, and it can impede your heating attempts during the winter.
- Buy or craft a draft snake. When placed on a window sill, these long, skinny, pillow-like contrivances repel both heat in the summer and drafts in the winter. They are nothing more than elongated tubes stuffed with cotton, rice or even rolled-up newspaper. You can make them yourself out of old socks or the sleeves of outgrown sweaters. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, though, you can always purchase your draft snakes ready-made.
- Invest in windows that are energy efficient. Low-emissivity or low-E glass possesses a built-in coating that keeps summer heat from entering your home while in no way impeding the transmission of light. Low-E windows reflect the heat back out into the great outdoors, and they do this without creating any glare that might otherwise annoy your neighbors. Many of these windows also contain a filling of Argon gas that increases their talents at blocking unwanted heat from gaining entry.
- Give blackout blinds a shot. While most window coverings will allow some sunlight to pass through, blackout blinds have the unique ability to block it entirely while still affording the stylish look most people want in their interior rooms. If this solution seems too drastic, though, you can always install blinds that block the light only partially, combining them with a covering of closely woven draperies in a heavy fabric as backup to be opened or closed as needed.
As temperatures outside soar toward record-breaking heights, your need to stay cool increases. Every little bit helps, and these window insulation techniques can improve their efficiency while having the least-negative impact on your wallet. The cooling experts at Windy City Air hope you find these suggestions useful.