I have seen many hints on here about using black plastic bags over windows and glass doors to block the sun from coming in. I agree that this should work, but it makes it impossible to see outside and that's what I like. I used to use the bags, but found that I was forever cutting or tearing small holes in the plastic so that I could see. It wound up looking terrible and defeating the purpose of them being there as the sun would come in through my tears. I came up with a better solution.
I use the plastic film that is sold to use on car windows. I know it's expensive (I pay approx. $18 a roll) so I bought buying a roll or two a week until I got enough to cover all my windows and glass doors. It took a while, but now all my windows and doors are covered, and it's a lot cooler in here without blocking my view.
At the end of the season, I take a lot of cheap wax paper and scotch tape it to the plastic. Then I take a long paper towel roll (I tape several together to make the lengths I need) and roll the wax paper and plastic around the roll. Then I label each one with what window/door it went on. This way I can reuse it year after year.
Along with the plastic, I also use window blinds and room darkening curtains. It has made a world of difference in the comfort of our home, and has also brought our electric bill down by close to 50% from over $300 to about $175-185. In the winter I take down all my room darkening curtains and the film and replace them with sheer curtains. For rooms where we want privacy, I keep the blinds up, but during the day (after dressing) I raise the blinds. This way I'm letting all the sun in that I can and warming the house up naturally.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
This is a great idea. I put this window treatment up on my big patio windows about 4 years ago and left it year round. I also close the blinds during the hot part of the day. This has made a big difference in the electric bill. I don't have to worry about any one looking in because it is pretty much opaque. I live in South Carolina and this summer has been unusually hot. but our electric bill was consistent with last year. $150 per month.
I don't know how expensive it is where you live, but I've had solar film put in my glass windows and doors which helps not only in the summer, but keeps the cold out in the winter to, and it was relatively cheap, including the installation cost.
Hmmmm, I hadn't thought about it keeping the cold out too. Maybe I won't take it down!
Deebomb, I know exactly what you mean about this summer being unusually hot. I live in North Carolina about 35 miles from the SC line so have had basically the same weather you have had. With the film though our bills have been consistent with last year too.
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