By Gina G.

Summer is here with its longer days and brighter sunshine.  Although enjoyable, these seasonal weather changes can bring spikes in cooling costs.  If you have windows to cover this summer, here’s the top choices that will help against the rise in temperatures:

Cellular Shades – As their structure is designed to insulate windows, cellular shades are the primary choice for many seeking to keep the summer heat at bay.  Cellular, or honeycomb, shades come in a variety of colors and are offered with control options too (cordless, top down/bottom up, motorized).  And, depending on the levels of sun and heat the space experiences, you can opt for either a light filtering or black out cellular shade.  Light filtering would suffice for low to medium sun exposure or areas where natural light is beneficial.  Blackout cellular shades are great options where the sun and its effects are intolerable.

Blackout Curtains – Blackout curtains are great summer window treatments because they are functional but not permanent.  As they have a black out liner on them, blackout curtains will do wonders to keeping the heat from entering a space.  But also keep in mind that they will also darken the space significantly.  The best thing about blackout curtains, however, is that they are panels and therefore not fixed like a blind or shade.  When the space is hot and you want to keep it cool, draw the curtains.  Other times when insulation is not so important, keep the panels open.  And, blackout curtains are offered in such a wide variety of styles and prints, you don’t have to sacrifice décor to achieve your insulation needs.

Bamboo Shades – Bamboo shades combine both function and design for the summertime.  Functionally, bamboo shades are natural insulators since they are usually comprised of wood.  In addition, due to their sheerness in absence of a liner, most people opt to put a liner on their bamboo shades.  This liner, whether light filtering/privacy liner or a black out liner, will perform similar to that of the blackout curtains.  It should dramatically reduce the amount of sunlight (and its effects) to a space.  Design-wise, bamboo shades with their composition of woods, chutes and grasses are certainly trending as a great way to bring the natural environment into the home.