The following is a clever and cheap idea from Deputy Headmistress on how to beat the heat this summer. (Read her bio below)
Sunny windows are wonderful in the winter when they let in light and change it into warmth. In the summer, they can raise the temperature in a room considerably, making you swelter.
If you run the air conditioner, a window with enough direct sunlight can make that air conditioner less efficient costing you more money. If you don’t run it, you are less efficient, at least if you are like me. Being hot makes me limp as an overcooked noodle, and about as attractive only with sound effects, as I add whimpering to my damp drooping.
We have just such a sunny window inside the back door to our kitchen. The morning sun streams through the door and through another window also on the east side of the house. This means that by the time we get up, our kitchen is already ten – twenty degrees warmer than the rest of the house and it can take all day to cool down.
This window is also on the east side of the house and lets the morning sun stream in, and here in the midwest, the morning sun is rather muggily hot.
The door is metal and has no curtain rod, so here’s what I did:
Spray painted four clothespins red to match my kitchen.
Lost one of them (no picture- it’s lost. Seriously. I don’t joke about this stuff. I don’t have to).
Superglued a magnet to on end of each of the other clothespins. You can get them at a craft store or try using the magnetic advertisements businesses send sometimes.
These are my makeshift curtain rod/curtain/sunblock hangers.
Now for the makeshift sunblocker:
You can go all crafty on this- take a large piece of cardboard cut to measure. Put tinfoil evenly all over one side (to reflect the sun). Decorate the other side, the side that will fact the kitchen, to match your decor. You could glue fabric, paint it, spread it with a textured paint, make a collage, or paint it and apply fabric appliques using this unique, frugal, and really simple method.
Make a lovely, double insulated curtain from fabric you have on hand or an old sheet.
Or you can just be a philistine like me and do what is both fast, and super efficient:
It’s not very pretty, and if I were a different sort of person I’d put pretty fabric on the side facing the kitchen. But while I deeply admire those with more drive and a more artistic eye than I have, I am a ‘if I don’t do something now I will never get anything done’ kind of person.
This is one of those sun-blockers made to fit just inside the windshield of a car, so you know it is highly efficient at blocking those heat creating Uv rays and reflecting them back. I bought several at the end of summer a couple of years ago in a mark down sale- I paid 2.00 for them. I have one with a Finding Nemo theme in the master-bedroom.
We can take down the one in the kitchen by noon so the kitchen doesn’t resemble a cave too much. I hang it up again before I go to bed so it’s there to fight back the morning sun.
Using these in all the windows that let in direct sunlight makes it possible for us to go longer without using air conditioning, and when we do use the air conditioner, it doesn’t have to work so hard.
The whole project took perhaps a total of five minutes of my time, particularly since I already had the magnets, clothespins, paint, glue, and sunshade on hand.
Here are some other ideas on how to keep cool without turning on the air conditioner. I favor sitting outside in a pool with a tall glass of lemonade, but since I am 49 and we just got an above ground pool this month, I’ve had to come up with other ideas over the years.
Met my husband in Sunday School when I was 17, married him in 1982 when I was 20. He joined the Air Force and we spent a nomadic life until he retired 20 years later.
We have seven Progeny, two of them adopted, and two handsome sons-in-law, three adorable grandchildren and a fourth on the way. One of our daughters has multiple special needs and doesn’t speak. One of our grandsons has a rare genetic condition that affects only 1 in 100,000 babies. 70-80 percent of babies with his condition do not survive early childhood.
I’ve been blogging at The Common Room since 2005. I like to blog about babies, politics, frugality, cookery, books (I own eight thousand of them), homeschooling and more.