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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fighting the Heat

The Hayleys are sick of high energy bills.

I can hear what you're thinking:We're all suffering from increased fuel prices, climate changes, inflation....blah, blah, blah.

NOT true for us. Ok, it is somewhat true for us, but we've been sick of high energy bills for a long time. Like since we moved into this apartment the first time around in 2001.

This apartment's energy efficiency leaves a little to be desired. Last summer I wised up and hung curtains. That helped dramatically. I also learned that I can, in fact, hang curtains by myself. Somehow that's always been a mysterious task - one I feared.

It's not enough, not when we've already had 100F days in Dallas and it's only mid-June.

Our living room faces west. We get the worst of the afternoon sun baking on our patio, making it unpleasant to grill and increasing the living room temperature to the point where we don't enjoy being in there.

What is the point of having a grill as a great way to keep it cool in the house, if only it wasn't too hot to actually do? What is the point of having a TV and couches in the living room if it's too warm to chill out?

It occurred to me that we might want to find a way to cut the sun on the patio. I hunted around online and found that Big Lots had matchstick blinds on sale. The best deal that met my needs were the 42x72" blinds. Sale price? $8. What a deal!

I bought 3 blinds - leaving about a 3 foot gap, perfect for me to shimmy past to water the patio plants in the morning.

This weekend, I hung the blinds, in the afternoon heat (not the best idea, I know). It was easy-peasey.

Even though I couldn't find the drill, I was able to use a large nail to create guide holes. Pliers helped me get the large screw hooks in snug, then I just had to hang each blind.

I would be lying if I didn't give the full story. I actually hung the first blind, the center one, and realized that despite measuring twice and hammering once, I was about 4 feet off-center. It wasn't quite as easy-peasey to take the blinds down, unscrew the hooks, re-do a guide hole, rescrew the hooks and rehang the blinds, all in 96F full sunlight.

But I digress. The point is, I did it.

The blinds look great and I'm amazed at how much they reduce the sunlight hitting our patio windows. It's several degrees cooler on the inside of the blinds and we all are enjoying the use of our patio again!


  1. Supa-Shannah to the rescue! Dum dum da DUM! *swish cape*

    The blinds look great, hun - and anything that promotes grilling is a bonus. John and I grill three or more nights a week these days, when I feel it's just too hot to warm up the oven. We used your honey & orange juice marinade on some chicken breasts yesterday and it was just as yummy as I remembered.

    And - I love the picture of Bridget. She obviously approves of your handiwork. ;)

  2. It looks wonderful. I'm not even going to give you grief about being 4 feet off center.

    Four FEET? Really?

  3. I'm just amazed that the kitties haven't attacked the strings - it was my one fear with hanging the blinds.

    And yes, 4 feet off center. What can I say? It happens.