Whether you work third shift, like to take afternoon naps or just have a window that lets in a little too much sun, you can block out the sun in a variety of ways. Keeping bright sunlight out of your house can not only help you sleep during the day, it can also make your house more energy efficient. Sunlight that is absorbed by traditional curtains or that streams through a window can heat up your home, making your air conditioner work harder.
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If you're looking to maintain a traditional look while blocking out the sun, go with blackout curtains. They come in a wide range of colours and styles, and no matter what the time of day, blackout curtains typically block out 99.9% of the sun's light and 100% of the sun's UV rays. Partial blackout curtains that block a smaller percentage of the sun's light, such as 80%, are also available. In addition, most blackout curtains are usually specially designed to provide extra insulation to keep your home comfortable in both the winter and the summer.
For small windows or for a paired look, try blackout shades. Like blackout curtains, blackout shades block out the sunlight coming through your windows, but you hang blackout shades inside the window frame and can pair them with traditional curtains. Choose bottom-up or top-down shades, depending on your personal preference. Blackout shades come in a variety of colours but are typically accordion-style.
To block out sunlight without having to change your window treatments, install black film on the inside of your window. A type of privacy window film, black static-cling window film blocks approximately 99% of UV rays and is typically inexpensive. Although you can hire a professional to install black static-cling window film on your windows, you can also install it yourself. Just remember to flatten the film to remove the air bubbles during application.
If you're short on cash or you're less than thrilled with the concept of putting something inside your windows, you can still block out the sunlight. Place a solar screen or other sun-blocking awning or shade on the outside of your house to help eliminate light. Solar screens and other outdoor solar problem solvers typically block out about 80% of sunlight. If you're super short on cash and looking for a quick fix, cover a piece of cardboard the same size as the window with some aluminium foil. Then, tape the piece up in the window with the reflective side out. It will cut out the light and help keep your home cool.
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