It's extremely HOT here in St. Louis. Today should reach 110 degrees Heat Index and we have a very old house without proper insulation (we're working on it). In the meantime I just had to do something to try and keep out the horrible heat and humidity. So I took a cheap vinyl flannel-backed tablecloth, cut small holes and thread it through the curtain rod on our back door and small back window. It worked! I was amazed how much it really helped.
By Darlene from St. Louis, MO
I've used heavy lined drapes to do the same thing in our sunroom. Another option is to build some kind of overhang by the back door to keep sun away and help keep you dry from rain.
Also, put foil with the reflective side out on west facing windows.
From living 3 years in Tucson, AZ, I learned a few tricks to keep cool.
If you are an early riser, open the windows to let in the cool air. When it's about 830 or 900, close them trapping the air inside.
You can also get an air misting fan that runs on a AA or two battery, that you fill with water and then mist your face (and any other part you can reach!) which really helps.
I hope this and other ideas keep you cool!
We live in New Orleans and we've done this for a few years. We keep them up in the winter to help keep the cold out.
I bought a dozen flannel-back vinyl tablecloths a couple of years back on 50 cent clearance. I use them to protect the plants from the mild freezes we get here. The vinyl keeps the flannel from getting wet. Wet material doesn't protect against freezes. I just clothespin the table cloth to keep it on the plant.
In the past I have purchased car window "shades" and put them in my windows. Also I use an outdoor thermometer to determine when to open and close windows. As soon as it is cooler outside than inside I open the windows and start the fan.
As soon as the outside temperature starts getting too close to being the same temperature as the inside in the morning I shut the windows and blinds/shades/curtains to keep the cool air inside. Night time temps are usually cooler than day so you can run the fan to draw in the cool air all night long. If you have no fans, just throw the windows open and hope for a breeze to assist you.
Remember if you have a fan and are trying to cool a specific room it helps to have a fan blowing OUT in a room close by and a fan (or not) blowing the air in, in the room you want to cool. Keep all other windows closed.
You can buy a roll of reflective plastic made to cover patio and house windows that keeps the heat on the outside of your home. It is as cheap as a vinyl table cloth and you can still see out the window. You can get it at home depo or lowes.
The plastic sheeting is made by 3M and can even be bought on Amazon. It is better than a cloth because the cloth allows heat to come in then stops it from dispersing into the room. Some still gets in. The reflective plastic sheeting keeps the heat on the outside of the glass.