How To Keep Your Home Cooler On A Budget

Posted by Jane Dodge BA Fashion Design: Textile Designer Quickfit Blinds and Curtains on 12th Nov 2014

It's that time again when you are preparing your home for the hot summer months ahead. By all accounts this year will again see a string of days with temperatures well above the summer average. There are a few simple things you can do to make those hot days a little more tolerable, from air conditioners to blockout curtains.

Air conditioners are of course a fabulous way to cool your home. For them to run efficiently and not cost you or the environment it is essential to minimise the warmth entering the home in the first place. 

Windows are the biggest culprit and windows with direct sunlight can heat a room very quickly, causing your air conditioner to work overtime, costing you and the environment. It may seem logical that addressing the transfer of heat through windows would be obvious but the question is, how do you do this most effectively? These are the 2 key ways to solve this problem:

  • Large wide eaves or awnings on the outside to prevent direct sunlight on the windows during the middle of the day and early afternoon
  • Good quality, energy efficient blockout curtains

You cannot do much about your eaves but you can install an outside awning or pergola. This may be something you need to plan for as it is an expensive exercise and can't be done in a weekend.

Energy saving Blockout Curtains Energy efficient blackout curtains

Your internal window coverings are the easiest and one of the most effective ways to keep your home cooler during summer. Best of all, it won't cost you a fortune and can be done over the weekend. here is what to look for when getting yourself some energy efficient blackout curtains:

  • Don't skimp on the size, make sure you have at least double the window width of fabric in the curtains. For example if your window is 180cm wide make sure the width of the fabric is at minimum 360cm. The fuller, or the more folds in the curtains, the better they will be at preventing heat penetrating the room. Eyelet curtains (the ones with the rings sewn into the top) are the easiest to install. They come in various widths to accommodate most window sizes, even the wide ones. Better still, you can hang as many curtain panels on the rod as you like with this type of curtain. The wave created by this style makes it so you almost can't even tell there are multiple panels hanging, and it's easy to wash and hang smaller size panels
  • Mount your rod or pole well above the window. For the best energy efficiency you should try to hang the rod at a min 20cm above the window
  • Run the rod or pole well past the sides of the window. Try if you can to run them at least 20-30cm past the window on either side
  • When measuring, you need to measure the width of the track (not the window) or you will end up with curtains that are not full enough and thus not very energy efficient.

There are a number of options on the market for energy efficient blockout curtains. The main two types are:

  • Coated Curtains:  those with the acrylic white coating applied to the back of the curtain
  • Woven Blockout: those that are woven with a triple weave instead of the usual double weave. This creates a thicker curtain and allows the centre/middle yarn to be black, blocking out the light or sunlight

Which ones are better?

Both have their advantages. Coated curtains are certainly better when it comes to energy efficiency, mainly due to the white coating which reflects the sunlight. You will need to check if they are 3 Pass coated, i.e., 3 layers of coating on the back (the middle layer is black) or 1 pass coated. The 3 pass coated is by far the best and most expensive option. These 3 pass coated curtains are very energy efficient and very darkening. 

The triple weave blackout has the same colour on both sides, so it does not reflect the sun light. In fact, the darker colours will actually absorb the heat. The great thing about the triple weave is they have a lovely drape. The fabric is very soft and they are super easy to wash. And better still they are generally cheaper. The triple weave is fantastic if you are wanting room darkening blackout because they are energy efficient but not quite as good as coated curtains.

Find your favorites today!

Sorrento is a best seller for coated energy efficient Eyelet Curtains >> see Sorrento Curtains

Villa is a best seller for coated energy efficient Pinch Pleat Curtains >> see Villa Curtains