How to insulate windows to keep heat out.
  • Category:
    Home Energy Savings
  • Published:
    May 31, 2022

How to Insulate Windows to Keep Heat Out

Windows are the key to an efficiently insulated home. Insulating them well this summer will keep the burning rays of the sun from turning your home into an oven. Beyond learning how to insulate windows to keep heat out, window insulation for summer keeps cool, air-conditioned air inside. Energy-efficient windows will save you energy costs all year round.

10 ways to insulate windows for summer

What is the best way to insulate windows for the summer? It turns out you can put several strategies to work when it comes to how to keep heat out of windows. Did you know that 76% of the sun’s energy that hits standard double-pane windows comes into the room as heat, not light? That is why it is important to insulate windows for summer–and also use these other energy-saving tips for summer that will help you beat the heat.

1. Add weatherstripping to your windows.

One of the fastest, simplest, and least expensive ways to answer the question of how to insulate windows to keep heat out is to add weatherstripping around your windows. Gaps around windows are one of the common areas for home air leaks. Weatherstripping definitely counts as a best way to insulate windows for summer. You will want to investigate the different types of weatherstripping, so that you choose the right option for each type of window.

2. Use window films to reflect heat.

Laminated plastic film is another option for improving window efficiency. Window films reflect a great deal of the sun’s energy out of your house. An added benefit is that they block UV rays that damage and fade furniture, rugs, and artwork. They are ideal if your home is in a warmer climate where you are running your air conditioner for long periods.

Where winters are harsh, you may welcome the warming rays of the sun, so window film is less attractive for you. You have do-it-yourself options, as well as more expensive and durable professionally installed window films.

3. Invest in cellular shades.

Cellular shades are a fashionable choice that are counted as the most energy-efficient of all window coverings. They are constructed of pleated layers of material that form a honeycomb pattern of air pockets that reduce heat transfer through your windows. They block as much as 60% of the sun’s heat energy when properly installed.

Unlike films that are permanently attached to your windows, cellular shades can be opened and closed easily. In the winter, when you will welcome solar heat, you can roll them up and out of the way. They are a great option for window insulation for summer.

4. Purchase blackout blinds.

Blackout blinds are window coverings designed to almost completely block out the light of the sun. Heavier and thicker than normal drapes or blinds, they add a layer of insulation over your windows. They also have a light colored or reflective side facing the window that bounces back sunlight and sun heat.

5. Use draft snakes for window insulation.

Draft snakes or draft dodgers have nothing to do with football or avoiding military service in this case. They are names for a long thick piece of insulation that you can lay at the bottom of a door or window to keep air from leaking in or out. They are a fast and fun way to add window insulation for summer or winter. Many people make them by hand and cover them in materials that match their home decor.

Ways to insulate your windows for summer.

6. Insulate windows using bubble wrap.

Bubble wrap isn’t just for shipping or popping. The plastic film containing multiple air pockets is another one of the best ways to insulate windows for summer. You can use any kind of bubble wrap with medium to large bubbles. Clean your window panes and cut sheets to fit. Spray your clean window with water and press the bubble wrap into place. It is easy to remove later.

You can also buy bubble wrap specially designed as window insulation. Some give you the ability to still see through your window. Others are coated with reflective material to keep the sun’s heat from entering. These specially designed window bubble wraps often come with their own application material.

7. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows.

Innovative window engineers have developed tremendous advances in energy efficiency, even in the last ten years. You may be able to recover the cost of new energy-efficient windows through savings on your power bill. Before buying, check the light-to-solar gain (LSG) rating, which measures how well different types of glass transmit daylight, while still blocking heat gains.

Windows also come with other window performance ratings. It pays to shop around when it comes to retrofitting windows with energy-efficient options that help you address how to keep heat out of windows.

8. Install insulating shutters.

Shutters are another option for window insulation for summer. They are a long tradition when it comes to how to insulate windows to keep heat out. Many have an added benefit of providing security against break-ins. They have evolved from the decorative devices of the past to include insulation layers and powered opening and closing. You won’t want to be outside sweltering as you try to close them across your windows.

9. Add window awnings to your home’s exterior.

When you look at pictures from years ago, you will see many homes and buildings had window awnings. Prior to air conditioning, they were one of the best ways to keep heat out in the summer. They work just as well today.

When used on south-facing windows, window awnings can reduce heat gain from the sun by 65%. On west-facing windows, they can block 77% of the sun’s heat. Window awnings add a stylish look to your home and also deflect rain, keeping your windows cleaner longer. If your house is hot upstairs and cold downstairs, adding awnings on the upper floors can even out the temperature.

10. Take advantage of shade landscaping.

Adding trees and bushes around your home enhances the beauty of your yard and also makes use of shade landscaping to minimize sunlight heat that enters your home through your windows. Shade landscaping is energy-efficient year round, offering cooling shade in the summer. In the winter, when the leaves drop off your trees and bushes, warm sunlight shines through.

Other ways to help keep heat out of your home

Learning how to insulate windows to keep heat out is just one of the ways to keep your house cool in the summer. Other tips include:

  • Open your windows at night. Let in the cool night air, then tightly shut windows in the morning and pull the shades. You’ll keep the house cooler longer.
  • Cook outside or on the grill when possible. Turning on your stove or oven creates more heat than you imagine. Move the cooking and the heat outside to stay cool inside.
  • Run appliances at night. Your dryer also creates heat you don’t want inside on a hot day. Run it at night to minimize the impact.
  • Run fans. Move cool air from lower levels up. Move hot air out. And moving air, in itself, feels cool on the skin.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs. Old fashioned bulbs throw off heat. Replace them with CFL or LED bulbs to stay cooler.

Now that you know how to insulate windows for the summer, you have taken care of one of the greatest sources of unwanted heat in your home on hot days.

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Comments ( 1 )

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SnowflakesAircon - 9/13/2023

This is brilliant. I love staying at home to stay calm, especially during the summer. Thanks for giving us these ideas!

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