Hello and thank you for any advice you give in answer to this. My electric bill is about to go up and up higher here in Maryland. I want to hang something on my porch that will block some of the sunlight but not the breeze. I have a screen door on the porch so of course I still want it available. I have looked at the banners and flags online but they are expensive. Is there something or some material I could use to just buy and tack it up on my roof? I am already hemming white cotton to hang on the windows just to block out some of the sun. It has been very hot here today and I haven't used the AC. In the past I would have but I don't want to pay for it.
You did say "hang" something so I'm guessing lattice-board (which affords both shade and air) wouldn't do? I hang plants on my patio for shade.
I hate the AC,too -- expensive and hurts my arthritis, so we use ceiling fans and pedestal fans.
They have shade cloth in home improvement centers - that lets the air in - or you could try lacey panels -
Bamboo shades are inexpensive and can just be tacked to your roof edge. You can see through them but they block out all of the sun. Works for me. I got mine at Home Depot
we moved last year into a trailer with a beautiful covered patio on the east side of the house. I went to Wal Mart an bought 3 big nice blinds that roll up or down to any length you wish. These are lilke plastic strips made into a blind..this has help cut down on the heat as our glass sliding door in the kitchen also goes out onto the patio. I do know that they had 2 different widths that they came in an are quite large an only cost about $ 10 each. you can also take them down an use a hose on them to clean them. they have help so much an yes we do leave them up year around.
You could try putting up some lattice and attaching some kind of shade to it. I have used lattice to create some privacy on the side of my deck, and it wasn't expensive.
A vine on a trellis that loses its leaves in the winter.
If you go with bamboo shades, you'll need to fasten them down or up during windy weather.
My solution- buy heavy drop cloth or painters cloth at hardware store that has grommets on top side. Use shower rod wire hooks and mount on rod made of electric conduit pipe held up with simple brackets. This will slide easily and nothing harmed by rain or sun.
I planted a Japanese Maple in front of my porch. We put a piece of PVC into the ground near it, so when we watered, it went right to the roots. It took a while to grow, but is 10x larger than a neighbor's, who planted hers at the same time. I keep the inside branches cleared out so air can freely circulate. It shades the porch and house nicely, but we can see out through most of it, and our porch still gets a nice breeze through the screen door. Though not a quick solution, a great one.
For my windows--I bought cheap blankets at Wal-Marts (off-white), measured and cut them the size I wanted, and used thumbtacks to hang them from the inside of my windows. In the sunlight, they are opaque, allowing partial light through. They insulate well, keeping out the winter cold and the summer's heat. They look just like blinds from outside. You can make them any length you want. On windows we don't use, I made them full length; on windows we kept the blinds up half-way, I only made covers for the top half; on a few windows, I made them 3/4 length. A few, I made full length, but we roll them up at times (like when we put our window air conditioners in during the summer months)--they usually stay up by themselves, but if not, a few straight pins would do the trick. The thumbtacks make them easy to remove. You don't even need to hem or bind the edges. I thought about different fabrics to use, but these were by far the cheapest.
An outdoor sun shade will cut heat by almost 80%. Its called the shading coefficient.
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