Blocking the sun from coming in your windows can serve many different purposes. Early in the morning, the sun can wake people up, cutting short a good night's sleep. During the day, the sun can heat up a room, causing air conditioning bills to go up. All day, the sun's rays can also fade your furniture and carpeting. For all these reasons, you may want to cover windows and block the sun.
Sheets or Blankets
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to cover windows to block out the sun is to use blankets or sheets you already have on hand. The darker and thicker the blanket or sheet, the better it will block out the sun. To hang the blanket or sheet, you can either use strong tape, like duct tape, or tacks or other sharp objects. Hang the material from the top of the window frame, and let it fall to the floor. You will want to secure all sides of the blanket or sheet to the window for best coverage. This is not the most visually appealing option, but it will work for at least a temporary fix.
If you are looking for something more tailored than a sheet or blanket, you can invest in a pair of blackout curtains, which are specially designed curtains that block out light and ultraviolet, or UV, rays which can fade your furnishings. Blackout curtains come in a variety of patterns and designs and can be purchased at most stores that sell curtains. Blackout Curtains.org also claims that when properly installed, blackout curtains can cut your heating and cooling bills by 20 percent.
Another option to block the sun is to cover your windows with aluminum foil. This solution, however, will also completely block your view out of your windows and is not very visually pleasing. By completely covering your windows with aluminum foil, you will not only block the sun, but the aluminum foil will reflect the sun and lower your cooling bills. When putting aluminum foil on your windows, you will need to tape the foil in place with the shiny side facing out. You will need to remove the foil before opening the windows.
Shutters and Awnings
A variety of different types of shutters and awnings can be used to cover windows and block out the sun. The Florida Solar Energy Center recommends using exterior shutters or shades instead of interior ones, especially for windows that receive a large amount of sun during the day. A variety of shutters, including Bahama and Sarasota, offer different styles and price points and can be raised and lowered. The shutters typically cover the entire window when lowered. Awnings are installed above the window and jut out, covering the top of the window. The awning prevents the sun from coming into the window but does not impede the view. Shutters and awnings can be purchased at most home improvement stores and can be installed by the homeowner or by a professional.