How can you block the light from windows but not the wind?
If you have windows peering into the street in a crowded city, you might feel like you are living in a fishbowl. Or maybe you have some extra-friendly neighbors in the building right across from you. Either way, blocking windows for privacy makes sense. You may also want to block the direct heat of sunlight in the summer or just darken the room. A common question, though, is how to block light in a window without also blocking airflow. It might sound easy, but I haven’t found a single good solution described anywhere else online.
What do other people recommend? Some suggest getting an expensive window treatment, like plantation shutters or some fancy wooden shades. First, this is not possible for those of you that rent. Second, it can help, but the amount of airflow will decrease, and the slats blocking light will certainly cut the breeze. Others suggest exterior fabric shades by Coolaroo or similar brands that are supposed to block light while still allowing ventilation. However, any fabric that cuts X amount of light is also going to cut X amount of airflow. It is unavoidable.
Our DIY window solution for home privacy and airflow
Here’s our trick to getting around this problem: technology, and very simple technology at that. If you cut airflow, you can always increase it again using a window fan. What we recommend is getting a simple shade or blinds setup. An external shade would be best, but an internal set of blinds also works. These will provide privacy. Now to boost the airflow back up, insert a window fan. The forced airflow from the fan will compensate for the loss of natural breeze. You won’t feel the difference. There you have it, a way to provide privacy or block light to your room without compromising ventilation and airflow.
We will leave you with this 30-second clip showing the future of smart windows. This subway line has windows that automatically fog up when it passes near apartments to protect the privacy of residents. Tell us what you think in the comments below!