I am renting a townhouse where the master bedroom is always getting way hotter than the rest of the house. It's the only room on the top floor on the west side of the house and only has one window on the west facing wall. The downstairs is fine as the trees outside shade that part of the house, however they have been pruned a while ago and they have never grown tall enough again to shade the second floor of the townhouse.

I was hoping someone here would be able to help me reduce the heat that this room gets without having to do anything to drastic as we are only renting.



Rather than go full mobile-home park and start boarding (or foiling) up the windows, they do make window film specifically for this:

Gila Heat Block Film (just one example)

That film might be enough to fix the problem, and if you install it carefully, management will probably not care if you leave it in place when you move. If that alone doesn't block enough heat, you can also get "blackout" shades made of heavy, light blocking fabric. If you don't want curtains, a light blocking roll-up shade is another option, and basic models can be very inexpensive:

Roller shade

  • Hi JPhi1618, regarding 'you can also get "blackout" shades made of heavy, light blocking fabric,' do you mean on the outside of the window? Your photo shows one on the interior side but, unless the material is designed to reflect (preferably in invisible and visible wavelengths), wouldn't that increase the heat transfer into the room? – Colin Q Bang Oct 9 '15 at 2:05
  • The fabric is typically white on the window side so it does help quite a bit. I was in the same situation in an apartment once and the blackout shade helped a lot. – JPhi1618 Oct 9 '15 at 2:19
  • Thanks for the idea on the film I will look into this a bit more. Might also invest in some block out curtains – Nathan Oct 9 '15 at 7:46

A step up from tin foil, you can buy radiant barrier insulation - it looks like mylar bubble wrap - and stick that to the windows. If you just spray plain water on the window and press on the bubble wrap, it will hold on for quite a while, and can be removed without a trace.


Cover the window with tin foil, to reflect the suns rays. Or, for something that looks slightly better, install a reflective blind. (This does depend on what you're allowed to do within your rental contract. But seeing as you're on a DIY forum, I figure this might be acceptable.)

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