When summer rolls around, running your AC is a must. Depending on your home’s characteristics, however, it can feel like fighting a losing battle: If your house or apartment doesn’t also do its part, your power bills will skyrocket, and you’ll gain little relief from the heat.

Installing better curtains may be a workable solution, especially if you rent or can’t afford a major upgrade at the moment. Here are three of the best curtain types for summer along with a few other tips on getting the most out of your AC.

Thermal Curtains

Many of the curtains you’ll see advertised for summer use are thermal curtains. But how does this technology work?

Thermal curtains are made from heavyweight fabric, and they’re typically lined with an insulating material that blocks the transfer of heat. This works year-round because heat energy naturally travels from high-temperature areas to low-temperature zones: In winter, these curtains stop heat from escaping, and in summer, they prevent it from entering your home.

Thermal curtains make homes feel cooler in summer. By blocking out the sun’s rays, they stop your AC from having to work overtime to beat the mounting heat. In addition, thermal curtains help to insulate the home, keeping the cool air inside after you’ve been running the AC!

Window Shades

Folding window shades also help contribute to cooler homes by reducing the amount of sunlight that can enter through windows and heat the air inside. Unlike thermal curtains, most lack insulating layers, but their design gives them a distinct convenience advantage over other types of coverings.

Pleated shades that fold up are commonly made with a few layers of fabric that block light and heat. They’re also easier to open and close. In other words, shades can make it more convenient to take advantage of those occasional cool summer nights by opening a window to let some warm air escape.


Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are window treatments specially designed to keep visible light and UV rays out of rooms. They’re made of a heavy, tightly woven fabric and are available in a variety of colors and styles.

When shopping for blackout curtains, it’s important to consider what type and weight of fabric they use. Whether you pick cotton, polyester, nylon, or some other material, you’ll typically have better luck with darker colors and thicker layers.

Smart Tips for Using Summer Curtains

  •   Curtains come in a wide variety of sizes. Always measure your windows before making a purchase – These fixtures work best when they cover windows completely and extend slightly beyond the frame.
  •   Some curtain fabrics can release or trap lots of lint, pet hair, and debris – which might make your AC less efficient. In addition to changing your filters and cleaning your ducts regularly, consider washing the curtains before hanging them and dusting them periodically.
  •   Summer curtains made of heavyweight fabrics may require extra support. Be sure your mounting fixtures and curtain rods are up to the task.

With the right curtains and a good AC service plan, you can get through the summer in comfort. For more help keeping your home cool, schedule an appointment with a Triangle Air Conditioning expert today.