Using Blackout Drapes For Energy Efficient Windows
In the heat of summer blackout drapes will make your windows more energy efficient and save you money on your utility bills. A blackout drape is usually made out of a heavy woven fabric with a light blocking thermal lining that will insulate your room from the heat of the sun.
If you have a window that gets a lot of light during the afternoon sun, then this is a great place for the blackout drapes. As the sun shines through the window, the heat is actually intensified, and focused, into the room. This will elevate the temperature, making your cooling system work harder. However, a blackout drape will make your room more energy efficient by blocking out, and actually reflecting, the light so it does not enter the room. The room stays cooler so your cooling system does not have to work as much. Installing blackout drapes is much like hanging regular drapes.
What You Will Need
Step One - Measure Window
Using your tape measure, take the measurements of the width of the window. Measure from the top of the window as opposed to the bottom of the sill. This is where you are going to be hanging the rods, so you should always measure in the area you are going to be working in. Next, measure the length from the top of the window frame to the floor, or as far down as you want the drapes to go.
Take the measurement to the store with you when you purchase your blackout drapes. If your window opening is 60 inches, then you will want to have blackout drapes that total 120 inches. The rule of thumb with drapes is to double the width. If you need to combine drapes then that is alright. You could use different colors for a decorative touch.
Step Two - Install Drapery Rod
Take the drapery rods and install them over the window you are going to place the blackout drapes. You will want to screw the brackets at least 4 inches above the top of the window sill in order to ensure maximum coverage. Set the measurements at least 6 to 8 inches past the width of the window so you completely enclose the window. Set one bracket up to the wall and mark the holes. Drill the pilot holes and then screw the bracket into the wall. Draw a level line from the bottom of the bracket to where the other one will go and repeat the installation procedure.
Step Three - Hang Blackout Drapes
Slide the blackout drapes onto the drapery rod one at a time. If you bought different colors, then alternate them, or use one color for the outside, and another for the inside. Hang one end of the rod on the mounting bracket and then step up a ladder to hang the other side. Make any adjustments you need to even out the drapes. There should not be any light shining through the panels, above or below the drapes, or from the sides.