Having a lot of windows lets natural light in while letting you keep tabs on the neighborhood and enjoy the outdoor view from the inside. But the joys of having a lot of windows can be quickly overshadowed by the summer heat.
If your home tends to heat up like a greenhouse in the summer thanks to leaky, old, or simply too many windows, we’ve got some affordable solutions to help you cool down. These cheap ways to insulate windows for summer won’t beat new windows or custom inserts, but they will help you stay comfortable without costing much time, effort, or cash.
6 Affordable Ways to Insulate Windows for Summer
1. Weather Stripping
Leaky windows tend to cause the most problems in the winter, but they can also be a pain to live with, especially during summer. Gaps around your window frames and sill allow hot afternoon air to drift into your home. These same gaps can also allow cool air conditioner air to escape.
Window insulation tape is cheap and easy to install. It can also help you save money on your cooling costs.
2. Draft Snake
Using a draft snake is another excellent, cheap way to prevent drafts. These simple, puffy cloth tubes sit in the gap between the window frame and the sill to help block drafts to keep hot air out and cool air in. These are also great for use at the bottom of exterior doors.
Draft snakes are relatively cheap, but you can save extra money by making a DIY draft snake right at home.
3. Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap doesn’t make for the prettiest window insulation, but it is very effective. And it’s also one of the cheapest options, especially if you receive a lot of fragile packages.
In addition to being one of the cheapest solutions, installing bubble wrap is also one of the easiest to do. You simply have to dampen the flat side of the bubble wrap and then press it to the glass. The moisture will hold the plastic in place while the bubbles protect temperature transfer and sunlight.
Reflective bubble wrap is even more effective at keeping the heat out. But, it will completely block out the sunlight and your view.
4. White Fabric
In most cases, it is not hot air getting into your house that causes problems near windows, but sunlight bursting through and heating the air that’s already inside. To combat this, you need a way to reflect that sunlight through the window before it has time to heat your home.
If you already have curtain rods in place, then you can accomplish this simply by hanging white fabric in front of your windows. Unlike dark colors, which absorb sunlight and hold it inside your house, light-colored fabrics reflect it.
If you don’t have white curtains, you can use towels, sheets, or blankets to save money.
5. Black Out Curtains
Black-out curtains take the idea of the above tip to the next level. The light fabric backing on blackout curtains reflects sunlight, while the heavy fabric layers prevent hot air from getting through.
This option is more expensive than others but can be very effective. Plus, these curtains can serve multiple functions and tend to look very nice. Just make sure you choose a blackout set with a white backing for maximum heat protection.
6. Reflective Window Film
If you enjoy looking out your windows, then a reflective window film is your best option. This adhesive film has a reflective finish on one side that reflects most of the sunlight before coming inside your house while still allowing you to see out your windows.
Reflective window film is available in many grades, from blackout to slight tinting.
Bottom Line: Cheap Window Insulation
If you are sick of suffering through the sweltering summer but don’t have the money for new windows, there are still many things you can do to insulate your windows and keep your home cool.
For drafty windows, adding weather stripping, using a draft snake, or putting up bubble wrap can make a world of difference. White fabric or blackout curtains and reflective window film are all effective, affordable options to keep the sunlight out.
Found an ingenious hack to keep your home cooler in the summer or have more questions on window insulation? Comment below!