How to Arrange Curtains Around a Window Air Conditioner

Are you looking for an easy, cost-effective way to add flair to your shower doors? Decorating with curtains is a great option to help you make a big impact without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s easier than you think!

In this blog post, we will be discussing how to arrange curtains around a window air conditioner to create an attractive space and improve insulation while keeping costs low. We’ll walk through step-by-step instructions on measuring your door size accurately and what type of curtain fabric to purchase.

How to Arrange Curtains Around a Window Air Conditioner

Lastly, we’ll discuss tips and tricks for arranging the curtains to look amazing while still providing maximum efficiency. If you’re ready for a fun project that will ultimately save you money in the long run, keep reading!

Understanding Window AC Units and Airflow

Types of Window AC Units

There are several types of window AC units, each with its own unique placements and airflow patterns. Horizontal units are common in traditional double-hung windows and expel air to the sides and rear. Vertical or casement AC units are designed for sliding or casement windows and often direct air out from the back. Just remember, each type of unit has its own specific installation and curtain arrangement needs.

The Importance of Airflow

Proper airflow around the AC unit is crucial for efficient cooling and optimum unit performance. Blocking or restricting air can lead to decreased efficiency, increased energy consumption, and even potential damage to the unit. Ensuring that your curtains do not interfere with your unit’s airflow is therefore essential.

Identifying Airflow Zones

To guide curtain placement, it’s helpful to understand the airflow zones around your AC unit. Generally, the front contains the intake zone where air is pulled into the unit, the sides and top are output zones where cooled air exits, and the rear is the exhaust zone where hot air is expelled. Each of these zones needs to be considered when arranging your curtains.

What Will You Need?

Before diving into the instructions, gathering all the necessary materials beforehand is important. Here are some of the things you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric scissors
  • Curtain fabric (we recommend thick or insulated curtains for maximum insulation)
  • Curtain rods and brackets

Once you have these materials, you’re ready to start arranging your curtains!

10 Easy Steps on How to Arrange Curtains Around a Window Air Conditioner

Step 1. Measure the Dimensions:

Start by measuring the width and height of your window, as well as the size of the air conditioner. This will help you determine the size of the curtains you need. Be sure to add extra fabric on each side and at the top. You can use these measurements to purchase the right amount of fabric.

Step 2. Purchase the Curtain Fabric:

After obtaining your measurements, it’s time to purchase your curtain fabric. As mentioned, we recommend opting for thick or insulated curtains for maximum insulation. Choose a fabric that complements your room decor while also serving the practical purpose of covering the window air conditioner. Remember to buy extra fabric to allow for errors and adjustments.

Your Measurements

Step 3. Cut the Curtain Fabric:

With your measurements and fabric, it’s time to cut your curtains to fit your window. Remember to add a few extra inches on each side for hemming and to ensure adequate coverage. Be sure to cut two panels for each side of the air conditioner. A helpful tip to ensure straight lines is to use a ruler or straight edge and mark your cut lines with a fabric pen before cutting.

Step 4. Hem the Edges:

Now it’s time to hem the edges of your curtains. Start by folding the edges of your fabric about half an inch and ironing them down to create a crisp line. Then, fold again another half inch and secure it with pins. Sew along the edge of the fabric to secure the hem. Repeat this process for all four edges of the two curtain panels. This step will give your curtains a neat, finished appearance and prevent fraying.

Step 5. Install the Curtain Rod:

The next step is to install the curtain rod above the window. Measure and mark the spots where the brackets will go, ensuring they are level and at equal height on both sides of the window. Drill holes at the marked spots and securely fasten the brackets with screws. Once the brackets are in place, set the curtain rod onto them, adjusting the rod’s length to fit securely.

Step 6. Attach the Curtains to the Rod:

Now it’s time to attach your newly made curtains to the rod. Depending on the style of curtain and rod you chose, this might involve threading the rod through a pocket at the top, attaching the curtain with clips, or using curtain rings. Make sure the curtains hang evenly on both sides. Once attached, carefully hang the rod onto the brackets.

Step 7. Arrange the Curtains Around the Air Conditioner:

Finally, arrange the curtains around the air conditioner. The goal is to cover the window but expose the air conditioner for maximum efficiency. You can tie back the curtains or use holdbacks to keep them in place on either side of the air conditioner. Adjust the curtains as needed to achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing look. You have successfully arranged curtains around a window air conditioner with these steps.

 It's Time to Attach 
Your Newly Made Curtains

Step 8. Evaluate and Adjust:

After hanging the curtains, step back and evaluate the overall look. Ensure that the curtains effectively cover the window but do not obstruct the air conditioner unit. Adjust the curtain length or how the curtains are tied back if necessary. This step helps ensure that your curtains aren’t just serving their practical purpose but also adding to the room’s overall aesthetic.

Step 9. Clean and Maintain:

Now that you have your curtains installed and arranged, keeping them clean and well-maintained is important. Dust and dirt can accumulate over time, particularly if the air conditioner is often used. Regularly vacuum the fabric or remove it for a gentle wash, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure the curtains are completely dry before rehanging them to prevent mildew. This will keep your curtains looking their best and extend their lifespan.

Step 10. Enjoy Your New Curtains:

Congratulations, you’ve successfully arranged curtains around a window air conditioner! Now, it’s time to step back and appreciate your hard work. Not only have you added a stylish touch to your room, but you’ve also implemented a practical solution that enhances your air conditioner’s efficiency. Maintaining this setup is as important as the initial arrangement, so keep up with regular cleaning. Enjoy the enhanced ambiance and improved insulation of your space!

By following these ten easy steps, you can effectively arrange curtains around a window air conditioner. Not only does this provide practical benefits like increased insulation and reduced energy costs, but it also adds to your room’s overall aesthetic.

Curtain Arrangement Strategies for Different Window Sizes and AC Types

A. Standard Windows and Horizontal AC Units

1. Cafe Curtains

a) Installation tips and hardware options for cafe curtains above the AC

Cafe curtains are perfect for standard windows with horizontal AC units because they cover the lower part of the window while still allowing light in from the top. For installation, opt for tension rods which are easy to adjust and don’t require any drilling. Alternatively, you could use magnetic rods if your window frame is metal. Choose curtain clips for an informal look, or if you prefer a more tailored style, choose cafe curtains with a rod pocket.

b) Styling ideas with different cafe curtain lengths and fabrics

Styling cafe curtains can be as individual as you are. For a traditional look, choose a curtain length that aligns with the top of the AC unit. To add visual height to the window, select curtains that extend a few inches below the AC. In terms of fabrics, lace or sheer materials offer a light, airy feel, while heavier fabrics such as cotton or linen provide more privacy and insulation.

2. Drapery Panels with Tiebacks

a) Hanging long drapes on either side of the AC with tiebacks for easy adjustment

Long drapery panels add elegance to any room and can be easily adjusted by incorporating tiebacks. When installing the curtain rod, aim to position it closer to the ceiling than the window frame. This will draw the eye upward, making the window appear larger. Securely fasten the tiebacks at a height that aligns with the middle of the AC unit to ensure easy access.

b) Creating a layered look with sheer inner curtains and blackout outer drapes

Layering sheer curtains beneath blackout drapes can provide a versatile look. During the day, tie back the blackout drapes and allow the sheer curtains to softly filter the light. At night, draw the blackout drapes for privacy and added insulation. Choose colors and patterns that complement your existing decor.

B. Large Windows and Vertical AC Units

1. Split-panel curtains with Rods

a) Installing two curtain rods above and below the AC for separate panels

For large windows with vertical AC units, consider split-panel curtains. Install two curtain rods, one above and one below the AC unit. This allows for separate curtain panels that can be opened and closed independently, providing flexibility in light control and privacy.

b) Utilizing contrasting fabric colors or patterns for visual interest

When choosing fabrics for your split-panel curtains, consider using contrasting colors or patterns to create visual interest. For instance, a solid color curtain on the bottom could be paired with a patterned curtain on the top. Alternatively, stick to the same fabric but play around with different colors to create a unique look.

2. Custom Curtains with Cutouts

a) Designing and tailoring curtains with cutouts specifically for the AC unit

For a seamless look, custom curtains with cutouts for the AC unit can be a great solution. This requires precise measurements and a bit of design savvy, but the result is a curtain that fits perfectly around your AC unit, providing maximum coverage without compromising the unit’s functionality.

b) Choosing a professional or DIY approach to creating custom curtains

Depending on your sewing skills, creating custom curtains can either be a DIY project or one for a professional tailor. Consider your comfort level with the complexity of the task, your available time, and your budget.

C. Casement Windows and Window-Mounted AC Units

1. Pleated Curtains with Magnetic Holdbacks

a) Using pleated curtains that easily stack on either side of the AC with magnetic holdbacks

Pleated curtains offer a classic look and pair well with casement windows and window-mounted AC units. They neatly stack to the sides of the window, making them easy to adjust around your AC unit. For effortless adjustment and a modern touch, consider using magnetic holdback.

b) Selecting fabrics and patterns that complement the casement window style

When choosing fabrics and patterns for your pleated curtains, aim to complement the style of your casement windows. Vertical stripes or patterns can echo the long lines of the windows, while a simple solid color can provide a neat, uncluttered look.

2. Roman Shades with Top-Down Bottom-Up Functionality

a) Installing Roman shades with top-down bottom-up functionality for precise light control

Roman shades are a stylish option that can be customized to work around an AC unit. Opt for top-down bottom-up functionality. This allows you to lower the shade from the top to maintain privacy while still letting in natural light, or raise it from the bottom for a completely open window.

b) Choosing fabric weights and textures suitable for your window-mounted AC unit

When selecting fabric for Roman shades, consider the weight and texture. Lighter fabrics are easier to maneuver and won’t put stress on the shade mechanism. Additionally, choose a material that can withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight and temperature changes from the AC unit.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Optimized Aesthetics and Functionality

Hardware Solutions

Various hardware options can significantly enhance the look and functionality of your curtains. Classic or decorative rods can add a touch of elegance. Select a style that complements your decor and the appearance of your AC unit. Adjustable rods offer flexibility in curtain placement, catering to the specific needs of your window and AC unit. Tiebacks are a simple yet effective solution for holding back your curtains. Opt for magnetic tiebacks for easy adjusting, or go for ornate tiebacks for a more traditional look.

Lighting Strategies

Strategic lighting can dramatically change the atmosphere of a room while detracting attention from the AC unit. Consider installing recessed lighting or pendant lights that cast a soft glow throughout the room. Alternatively, table lamps placed strategically around the room can create a warm, inviting ambiance. Using dimmers can also allow you to adjust the lighting according to your needs and mood.

Seasonal Adaptations

Changing curtains with the seasons not only refreshes your decor but also caters to varying cooling needs. Light, sheer fabrics are ideal for summer, allowing for maximum airflow and natural light. During winter, switch to heavier fabrics such as velvet or tweed, which provide insulation and block drafts. For spring and fall, opt for medium-weight fabrics like cotton or linen, which strike a balance between light diffusion, privacy, and temperature control.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Choose the Right Curtain Material: Light and airy materials such as cotton or linen are recommended for curtains around an air conditioner. They allow the cool air to flow freely while still providing privacy.
  2. Ensure Proper Clearance: Leave enough space between the air conditioner and the curtains to avoid obstructing the airflow. This also reduces the risk of the curtains getting sucked into the air conditioner.
  3. Secure the Curtains: Use curtain weights or magnets at the bottom of the curtains to keep them in place and prevent them from blowing around when the air conditioner is operating.
  4. Use Window Treatments: Consider using window treatments like blinds or shades, which can be easily adjusted and do not obstruct the air conditioner.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Remember to clean and dust the curtains regularly as they can collect particles blown out by the air conditioner. This helps in maintaining indoor air quality.
Linen Are Recommended 
For Curtains

With these tips in mind, you can now easily and efficiently arrange curtains around your window air conditioner. Always prioritize proper airflow and maintenance for a comfortable and healthy living environment.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Heavy Materials: Heavy curtains are not ideal for use near air conditioners. They inhibit the cool airflow and can even cause the air conditioner to work harder, leading to higher energy consumption.
  2. Don’t Block the Vents: Never position curtains directly before the air conditioner vents. Doing so will block the air flow and may result in lower unit efficiency.
  3. Beware of Loose Ends: Make sure that the curtains are securely fastened and that there aren’t any loose ends that could get drawn into the air conditioner. This could damage both the curtain and the appliance.
  4. Avoid Ignoring Maintenance: Neglecting to clean the curtains regularly can lead to the accumulation of dust particles. This dust can then be blown into the room by the air conditioner, potentially affecting the air quality.
  5. Don’t Use Non-Adjustable Window Treatments: Window treatments that cannot be adjusted, such as fixed drapes or panels, are not recommended. They can obstruct the air conditioner and interfere with its performance.
Window Treatments That
Cannot Be Adjusted

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your curtains work in harmony with your air conditioner and provide optimal cooling for your space.


To recap, if you have a window air conditioner and you want to get the best airflow control while at the same time making sure the unit looks aesthetically pleasing, there are several approaches you can take. For more natural-looking curtains, you can use drapery rods or other sturdy backing material to attach the fabric or use a combination of ready-made panels and ring clips to help separate the air conditioner from view. If you are looking for more affordable options, you can also opt for roller blinds with flexible side chains.

Whatever you choose, careful planning and consideration should ensure that your air conditioner is efficiently utilized while also adding comfort and homeliness to your space. Now go ahead and make your windows remarkably look great while comforting yourself with a perfectly chilled atmosphere!

Hopefully, the article on how to arrange curtains around a window air conditioner has provided you with useful tips and tricks to achieve the best results. With these guidelines, you can enjoy both style and functionality when it comes to curtains around your window air conditioner. Happy decorating!

You can check it out to Keep Bugs From Coming Through Window Air Conditioner

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