Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lights Out! (or the lengths I’ll go to trying to beat the heat)

If I ever buy another house, I am going to remember two things. First, I need a dining room and not an “eating area” that is part of the kitchen and way too small. Second, I need to consider the amount of shade around the house (hardly none here) and which way the sun will be coming in the windows at which time of the day.

The sun comes in directly through the back of the house I did buy in the late afternoon during the hottest part of the day. This turns our kitchen and living room into a toaster oven due to the higher ceilings. Another part of the problem was the $4.50 blinds I put up in a rush when we bought the house. We moved in very fast considering that we were renting and had a short window to move. This was also while I was travelling all of the time for work. And, I was cheap.

I have replaced many of those cheap blinds with newer, still cheap, blinds over the years. I’ve also resorted to using newspaper to cover the kitchen windows on 100+ degree days so that the AC does not have to work over time. Due to our huge stretch of hot weather this year, I was getting desperate. I was about to buy these things to get us through temporarily:

blinds1

But, instead of that, we chose to invest in decent blinds (as we’ve been discussing for years) and I ripped down all the cheapies. It took me 8 hours (until 2 in the morning) to do the whole house, but I did it and the difference is amazing.

blinds3

These are fake (faux) wooden blinds and they are not blackout blinds but they still keep out the majority of light and heat. Our old cheapies let everything through. When I want light, the slats are so much bigger that the room seems a lot more open and brighter.

blinds2

I don’t know – these give the whole house a more “cottage-like” feeling. I can’t really describe why. They are just – nice. But, I didn’t stop there.

I was getting so tired of all of the little flashing lights in the bedroom at night coming off all of the electronics. The television, the cable modem, the monitor on my desk – everything has an annoying little light to remind us “I’m on!” or “There is data coming through!”. Ugh!!! I went around with the electrical tape and covered ALL of them up. I even covered the lights on the surge protectors.

tape1

I sleep so much better in total darkness as I’ve noticed in hotel rooms. Returning home from the road meant returning to all of the LED’s until now. I do recommend touching each light and making sure that nothing is hot before doing this. The difference is incredible.

tape2

The difference is amazing. Electrical tape is cheap. Do it – you won’t be sorry.

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