Here’s a relatively simple frugal tip. Curtains are used not only to block the light, but also to stop airflow in and out of improperly insulated windows. Keeping that in mind,
- In the winter, keep your curtains open during the day to let the sunlight in and heat the house. Close them at dark to keep the heat from escaping outside.
- In the summer, keep your curtains closed during the day to block the hot sun and keep the house cool. Open them at night (along with your windows if you’re not using A/C) to let the house air out.
The un-frugal part of this tip is that you have to either go buy the curtains or get the material to sew your own. However, if you’re not too concerned with finding just the right pattern, you can find used curtains or fabric for very low cost at thrift stores and yard sales.
In our case, we decided to hang a colorful wool blanket over our double window and a fleece blanket over our single window in the room we occupy most of the day when we’re home. Luckily these windows are in the back of the house, so we won’t worry about neighbors complaining. We have blinds anyway, so they block the view of the blanket anyway. Next year we’ll become grown-ups and buy or sew real curtains.