Like 2 million other electricity customers in the mid-Atlantic region this past weekend, I lost power.
A weekend with 100-degree temperatures is not the best time to be without air-conditioning. But, it got me thinking…is it possible to keep our homes cool in the absence of electricity?
Then it hit me: Don’t let the sun shine into the house. Close the blinds.
Indeed, simply closing window blinds or drapes can reduce solar heat gain into the house by 33-45%. So then, isn’t it a good idea on all hot summer days to close the window blinds when we leave a room for a while?
Yes–I’m going to do it more often. Less electricity needed for A/C use + increased comfort = Nice.
And if you are especially ambitious about blocking out the sun on hot days, you can consider strategically planting a tree to shade your most sun-exposed windows. Field studies conducted in Sacramento have found that “shade trees” can reduce cooling costs by 30% and overall summertime electricity costs by more than 5%.
The only catch: the shade tree needs to remain standing after storms…