Florida is known as the sunshine state for good reason. Even rainy days in hurricane season can have sunny mornings and late afternoons, with clouds and rain appearing only after lunch. Combine all that sun with the average summer afternoon temperature of over 90 degrees, and you’ll see why electric bills skyrocket during the summer months as a result of increased air conditioning.
The best way to decrease your need for air conditioning is by reducing the heat that comes into your home. Darkening blinds and other window treatments are ideal for this task. Keeping out the summer sunlight removes a large source of heat and allows your air conditioner to work more efficiently.
Regular Venetian blinds and roller blinds will block a good amount of sunlight, but some of the sun’s rays will always leak through the blind fabric or slats to heat your room. Darkening blinds are designed to keep sunlight out for babies and people who have to sleep during the day, but they have the additional benefit of preventing heat from the sun from passing through. While this results in cooler, almost chilly rooms in northern climates, it is a bonus for sunny Florida houses. Classic darkening blinds come in basic black, which can set off a set of drapes layered on top, but some manufacturers make darkening blinds in other colors and even patterns to add to your room’s decor.
The best way to keep your Jacksonville home cooler is to use a combination of indoor darkening blinds and outdoor blinds attached to the house. Besides blocking sunlight, outdoor blinds create a layer of cooler air around each window. This effect can be achieved with window awnings, patio shades, or transparent window darkening products. Retractable awnings and blinds can be removed during the evening hours when the air is cooler to allow any hot air from inside the house to move out into the open air.
While vertical blinds are an attractive and popular choice, especially in front of sliding glass doors, they offer the least amount of protection from sunlight and heat. Even if the blades in the blinds overlap, there are multiple spaces in between the blades and on top of the set that allow plenty of sunlight to leak in. If you absolutely love the look of vertical blinds and still need to keep the hot summer sun outside, use them in combination with a large awning or patio roof. The blinds can then become a decorative item instead of a protective one, and you’ll stay cool.