3 Ways Window Coverings Can Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

Enhancing the natural efficiency of your air conditioner can keep your rooms cooler and your electric bill lower. There are a variety of expensive ways you can increase that efficiency from planting more trees around your home to tinting your windows. But strategic use of special window coverings is a cheaper and effective way to make your air conditioner work better with less effort.

Here are a few of the window coverings you can try depending on your air conditioner type and home layout. Note that window coverings won't compensate for a faulty air conditioner that should be looked at by an air conditioning repair person.

Light-Canceling Draperies

Do you have a number of east-facing windows that keep certain rooms warm regardless of your air conditioner settings? You can help cool off those rooms cheaply using light-canceling draperies.

Light-cancelling draperies have a color or design like normal curtains on the side that faces into your rooms. The reverse side has a thick lining material that keeps sunlight from streaming through. Blocking the sunlight helps reduce the heat created in your room during the day, which in turn reduces the need to lower the thermostat.

Place light-canceling draperies on any east-facing windows or large doors such as sliding patio doors. The draperies are available at most general and home improvement stores for a reasonable price.

Solar Screens

Solar screens provide the sunlight-blocking properties of light-canceling curtains without obscuring the view. These mesh roll-down or pull-down screen shades are specially crafted to ward off the heat and damaging rays of the sun while still allowing you to see the outside world.

The screens come in a wide variety of colors and levels of openness rated by percentage. Openness refers to how large the gaps are in the screen mesh. Those gaps let in sunlight but also open up more of the view. So if you wanted less light and less view, a lower number would work best.

Again, if you can only afford a few solar screens, put the screens in rooms with east-facing windows. This will best help you keep those rooms cool and improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Doorway Curtains

Not every home has a central air conditioner. If you have window air conditioning units, the key to efficiency is blocking off small areas for each unit to cool. This works well in bedrooms where there are doors to keep the unit from having to cool the hallway. But it's a harder task in large, open areas of your home.

That's where doorway curtains can come in handy. You can hang the thick but moveable curtains on ceiling-mounted rods above open doorways. This allows you to block off smaller sections of the open area so that your window units have less space to cool. Each blocked off area will then be more cold than when the entire area was open. For more information, talk to a professional like Shady Lady.