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
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