With the insanely hot summer here you’re wondering to yourself, “what kind of curtains help to keep a room cool?” Well lets take a look deeper into the real problem of summer as there’s two main schools of thought of whats causing the warmth.
Sunlight and Outside Air.
Lets dive a bit into the problems with Sunlight. During the day for sure sunlight is going to be your main cause of warmth unless you have the windows completely open. Immediately you maybe thinking well if I just buy really dark curtains then it will be much cooler. Yes and No unfortunately. As you see black curtains will just absorb the sunlight and then get warm themselves to the point that you now have hanging heaters near your windows. It’ll reduce heat a bit since the sunlight won’t be able to actually fill up the room but it will still keep things pretty decently warm. Time to move to the upgraded version of curtains, white backed/thermal insulated curtains. These curtains have a special backing to them that faces the outdoors that reflects the sunlight and heat far greater than any other type of curtain. There will be a considerable feeling of difference between these and normal curtains because all the heat from the sun just goes right back out the window. The good thing is these types of curtains aren’t that much more expensive than the normal curtains, you just got to look out for them. Curtains in general also help keep a barrier between the rest of the room and the windows so it does help even with the smallest and thinnest of curtains. But we always recommend going for thermal insulated/white backed curtains for all seasons. Plus for winter they help keep heat in when you want it.
Another thing to consider along side your curtains is just typical blinds. Usually a type of plastic of sorts these will help even more considerably because they are usually closer to the windows than what a curtain can do. Thus having both curtains and blinds will be a live saver in terms of keeping out the heat especially when you live in the southern states where the summers are brutal.
Outside air can be an issue but its not as big of an issue as sunlight. Any curtains unless they are just pure thin silk will help alleviate warm air from coming in past the window. The thicker the curtain though the more protection you’re going to have. If you don’t get much sunlight but get really warm still. What to do really is not worry about curtains so much as making sure your windows are sealed tight. Feel around the edges of windows and if there’s any sort of air movement get out the calking gun or make sure to push down tight on your windows. Make sure that things completely close as even just a small amount of air flow can make a huge difference. Not to mention an increase in air conditioning costs!! If your windows are really worn down it may be a good idea to get replacements. It maybe a bit costly up front but it’ll save you so much money in the next few years especially if you have long summers. Newer windows in this day and age are wonderful in that technologically they are more weather proof, soundproof, and insulated to keep your summers cooler and your winters warmer.
What to avoid: Silk! Silk curtains really won’t do you much good if they are super thin. They will help a bit if you’ve opened the windows and want to keep a bit of sunlight out just to air out the house. But they won’t do anything for you on those super hot days because the sunlight will still find a way right through them.
Other options: Thermal additions like a curtain liner is another good alternative. These go behind your curtains to help insulate without having to replace your current curtain sets. Maybe you have that absolutely lovely set of curtains that work all year round and look great inside but during the summers they really don’t help out. Well you’re in luck because companies like Thermalogic make curtain liners to help out.
You can purchase some of these here: Thermalogic Ultimate Window Liner for less than $20 dollars currently.
Thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a fun and cool summer!
Washing: Your curtains got dirty from just dust or perhaps someone spilled something on them. Now if they are your favorite, be on the safe side and get them dry cleaned. Often times even if a curtain says machine washable, they really aren’t. Or if they are, make sure they don’t go through the normal cycle. The delicate cycle will always be your best bet even if they are extra dirty. Not 100% sure why a lot of curtains say machine washable just to turn out not to be. You can tell after a washing if the colors have faded or you have small pieces of fabric missing. Very little damage will likely occur if it does but its still best to be careful. Some curtains will however rip and destroy themselves but those almost 99% of the time will say Dry Clean Only.
Drying: Then the dryer after cleaning. Make sure to always use just non-heated air especially if you have a thermal backing on the curtains. Soundproof curtains have such a backing and if you put these in the dryer they will likely melt and you’ll have ruined curtains afterwards. After all these backings are usually a type of plastic that melts really quickly. Plus with little room in the dryer there’s a good chance the curtain won’t move around enough to evenly distribute the heat. Instead you’ll have one part heat up a lot more than the others. If something starts to smell, turn off the dryer immediately!
After Cleaning: You may notice that after cleaning your curtains that they do not smell like the fabric softener or even the washing liquid you used. Sadly you can’t prepare for this happening besides unless you just do dry cleaning. The best option in this case is just let them hang and wait as the smell will go away. Otherwise a few squirts of febreze will help out greatly!
Keep those curtains clean and smelling fresh!
Soundproofing a house can be an overwhelming task especially in area with lots of noise from traffic, parks, or the local college party town on Friday night. You’ve perhaps put up soundproof curtains and made sure the house is blocking the noise from the outside but it just isn’t enough. If you live in an apartment there really isn’t much you can do outside to help. However if you live in your own house you may have a few more options available to you. Take a moment today and review the information below on some ideas to help soundproof your home even more!
The first option that’s often over looked is Trees and Bushes! Trees not only provide shade on a summer’s day but also can also help reduce that noise by quite a bit. Other quick benefits include more privacy and beautifies your yard. While pine trees or massive oak trees will do the best it may not be the best available because they block the view of the front yard and street. They may also take over your yard in time! Pine trees can get quite massive in 5-10 years that it may even surprise you. If you don’t wish to do upkeep on these you may want to look at other options. However the upkeep may not be too much if you have only a few trees. At the same time bushes may not do as much since they are lower to the ground but they do still help absorb and stop some of the noise coming in. Remember that the more you have in the way between you and where the sound is coming from the less you’ll hear!
Don’t forget you need to follow rules on where you can and can’t plant trees and always call your local electric company before you dig! You don’t want a small project become a road hazard or cause yourself some injuries.
Another option you have is a fence and this can help out quite a bit if its built quite high. With a solid wooden fence between your house and the road you’re almost in a sense putting up another wall in your house between you and the noise. These can make such a considerable noise difference from all things around you from cars to noisy neighbors. There is of course a downfall to putting up a fence and that is cost. Depending on the size of your yard a fence can easily reach several thousand especially if you’re looking to build one that will last a really long time and looks beautiful. Never want to go cheap on a fence materials and installing it as you can regret it a year later when Winter has taken a hold of it. The other benefits though include more privacy and safety for the family. This with a combination of trees can really drown out the noise coming into the household and something everyone should look at. Just make sure its reasonable for you and call before you dig!
These are just two options to help further soundproof your house to keep the sound out and make it a more enjoyable place to live. Don’t forget to plan ahead and get multiple quotes on putting up a fence if you do decide to invest into one.
Soundproofing Quick Tip #3
Here’s another quick tip to help soundproof your room or rooms to make it just a tab bit quieter.
When soundproofing windows and curtains you may not be able to do everything you want to help keep your living space as peaceful as possible. Perhaps you rent so you can’t change the windows to soundproof ones and maybe your roommate doesn’t want heavy curtains but silk ones instead. What ever the various reasoning maybe there are still a few options available to you so don’t give up hope just yet!
Furniture and art! You obviously don’t wish to block any windows or exits trying to keep out the sound but various furniture and art will help you out as any sound will get absorbed just at least a little bit in most circumstances when coming into the room.
Lets look at art! While paintings may not seem like they would help due to being so small/flat, sound loves to bounce off very large flat surfaces like a bare wall. A wooden frame around the painting not only helps reflect sound coming from the side but the entire painting creates a small space between itself and the wall which can also help reduce sound. Another popular option is a tall bookshelf as a full bookshelf creates a very solid “wall” that will likely be at least a half a foot thick and will stop sound in its tracks. As like the painting it helps reflect sound coming from the side (in a much bigger way obviously) and is a solid barrier against any sound coming from directly behind it. Just make sure the bookshelf is filled with thick and heavy books or it may not be as helpful as you would hope. The other types of furniture can be anything like a couch or seat will help but usually due to the lower height they won’t help as much as like a bookshelf could.
What about Placement!? Placement location of the furniture is also important because if there is a noisy wall behind you due to neighbors, you should look at what you can place between them and where you’ll be in the room. Placing a few bookshelves behind you with your couch in the middle facing your entertainment center should greatly help keep the neighbor’s party noise out of your room while you’re trying to pay attention to a movie. When filling up the room with furniture and various art you will not only reduce the options for noise to easily bounce off of but will also help absorb it before it gets to your ears. A side benefit to all of this is it also helps prevent sound you’re making from leaving the room and creating a noisy situation for others.
Good luck on decorating your rooms and reducing the noise!
Summer heat: The good and the bad.
After spending a wonderful day outside in the summer sun you’ll want to come home to a nice cool home to rest and relax the night away. Perhaps you just need to take a break for a few minutes to get something to drink. In either case when you get inside you’ll want your home to be perfect and relaxing when you arrive.
The unfortunate thing is though, that the summer heat while nice outside is terrible inside and it’ll find its way in if you don’t have good curtains. A room with no curtains and wide windows can heat up a room to well over 100+ degrees without much effort during the summer time on those cloudless days. Even if you crank on the air conditioning this may not be of much help and you’ll be wasting money trying to keep a room cool that you aren’t currently in. Your own sauna in the house that you don’t wish to be there when you arrive home.
Insulated curtains to the rescue!
What kind of curtains will help you in the summer greatly? Insulated curtains as they are specially made to keep out the summer sun and allow you to keep a room much cooler. This can save you a few dollars a month or even more depending on how much direct sunlight the room gets. This cost will be easily recuperated by the savings on lower cooling costs and will be well worth it before the summer even ends. A great deal of curtains sold on any website will be insulated to help keep that room at the perfect temperature you want!
But sometimes curtains won’t specifically state insulated when you see that perfect curtain you wish to buy but there are ways to tell if they will help at least a little bit. The first way is check to see if the side that faces the window is padded with a white “foam” or layer to help reflect light. The next method is check to see if the curtains are blackout as this will stop any sun from getting in especially if they are 99% blackout. No sunlight will always immediately mean less heat and this is exactly what you’re looking for! Another term to of course look out for is thermal though it’s usually paired with blackout or insulated. Not all sites will list the words together but usually if thermal it’s made to help out during the really warm and really cold seasons. Lastly check to see if a heavy fabric is used as even though they may not be stated for blackout or insulated, a nice heavy fabric curtain can still help keep out hot air coming into the house from a window that doesn’t tightly close.
But what about my awesome silk curtains!
While silk curtains have a nice lovely designs and flow freely in the wind they may not help so much in terms of keeping the room nice especially during the summer. However a insulated blackout curtain with a very heavy fabric in the end is best for your room if you wish to keep it cool during the summer and warm during the winter. It maybe a bit costly up front but the savings made overall will be more than worth it! You can always bring out the silk curtains during the spring and fall seasons when insulated curtains don’t have as much use.