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Made in the Shade – Staying Cool – Guest blog

Posted on: June 9, 2011

Guest blog by Michelle –  the other half of our customer care duo!

We experience 90 degree weather only a few times a year here in Vermont, but when we do, it feels like a sauna.  Yesterday, after a full day at work, sitting in the AC, I walked out the door to a wall of heat.  Most people would go home to an artificially chilled environment, but I just can’t justify the effort to install my AC for only a few days of benefit, yet.  Luckily after 1 full year with shades, I’ve learned how to prepare my home before I leave for work.   They are called “shades” for good reason!

I want to keep some air flow, but block as much sun to prevent “solar gain”.  I keep my black out cellular shades and windows in my bedroom closed.  The cats prefer it be dark anyhow. 

In the kitchen, where my windows face north and south (shaded by a pine tree), I crank open my casement windows about halfway. I then lower my shades to about where the windows angle out.  It creates a nice cross breeze, but lets in no more sun than necessary.

I have a porch that could serve as a greenhouse on a hot day.  I’ve included a photo here.  You can imagine that it’s a

Cellular Shades in my Den / Porch

Cellular Shades in my Den / Porch - keep it from feeling like a greenhouse

great space for a den area, but it can heat up fast.  In a move probably not so conventional on a potentially stormy day, I opened a couple of windows at the top and lowered my shades over them.  Surprisingly, light filtering cellular shades block enough solar heat and it lets a little air around the sides of the shade (outside mount without sidetracks) to keep the room from being incredibly stuffy.  Honestly I came about this method rather by chance.  I have a blind German Shepherd, named Hunter that likes to climb out through window screens, so I tend to open windows down from the top when I’m away. 

Shades in my living room keep it cool!

I keep the living room shade slightly open for the dog to see out, but keeping heat to a minimum.

In our living room (photo at left), I left one shade slightly raised for our seeing dog, Cali who likes to sit on the couch and watch our street. 

After a 90 degree drive home, with the windows down, I arrived home.  Pushing my way into the house past the 2 dogs, it felt about 20 degrees cooler.  I walked through the kitchen into our den area.  In an effort to let in some fresh air, my husband had opened the back door and regretted it immediately because now it was hotter than when he got home!  I was curious; we have an indoor/outdoor thermometer that I never check.  It said 80 degrees inside (and not humid), 92 degrees outside!  That is without AC!

I will admit that in an effort to simply sleep; sometime in July, in the middle of a muggy night, my husband will get up and install the AC. I can say that last year we ran it for about 2 days and confined the cold to the bedroom.   The bonus is that the shade rests nicely on my Air Conditioner for the time it is installed.

My shades continue to impress me, even as I rave about them every day to customers.  They are functional and, honestly, one of the few things I’ve done to my house in the 2 years we have lived there; as evidenced by my vintage paneling.  I urge anyone to buy a shade or shades for a room and feel the difference for yourself.  I wish I had years ago!

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