Bright afternoon sun can be not only bothersome, but it can add unnecessary and unwanted heat to the home. It can also fade wall paper, fabric and other materials close to the window. Taming the bright light can be a challenging task. Thankfully, there are window solutions that manage bright afternoon sun.
Room Darkening Curtains
For windows that receive a great deal of bright afternoon sun, room darkening curtains are ideal. These heavyweight curtains come with a special backing that not only blocks the sun, but controls the amount of heat that seeps into the house. On hot summer days, room darkening curtains can keep a room cool and comfortable by trapping cool air in and keeping hot air out.
There are various types of room darkening curtains. Opt for heavier ones that are not simply light filtering. Although those are helpful when a little light is desired, they do not keep a lot of light or heat out. Look for a label that shows that the curtain is specifically designed to block heat and light. Room darkening curtains tend to be slightly more expensive than regular curtains, but their ability to keep out bright afternoon sunshine and unwanted heat make them an excellent alternative.
Shuttered windows are pricey, but they offer great protection from bright afternoon sun. They are also beautiful to look at and add resale value to a home. Although some home improvement stores offer pre-made shutter kits, most shutters are custom installed by a professional installation company.
Shutters come in a variety of materials, but are most commonly made of wood and wood composites. They are paintable and can be made to fit any size and shape window. They are particularly popular in homes in the southwest where bright afternoon sun can quickly fade carpets and upholstery unless it is blocked. If considering shutters be sure to get a few estimates as prices can vary greatly from installer to installer.
Blinds are traditional window coverings that are great at keeping out bright afternoon sun. Like room darkening curtains, blinds can also come in room darkening varieties. Opaque blinds will block the late afternoon sun and help trap cool air in the home. Blinds also allow homeowners to open them only part way, so that light can filter through, but the blinding, hot sunshine is not bearing down on the room at full wattage.
Blinds come in two different styles. Vertical blinds are typically seen on windows. They are custom measured for each size window to ensure a perfect fit. Horizontal blinds are more often seen on sliding glass doors. These heavy blinds provide excellent protection from bright afternoon sun.
Research the options available before deciding on which window treatment to install to keep out the bright afternoon sun. All the options have their pros and cons, so weigh each carefully. Choosing the right window solution will not only keep the bright sun out, it will also protect furniture and carpet from fading and keep the cooling bill relatively low.