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How to Keep Your House Cool in the Summer Heat

Humid summers and cooler winters.

“One of the big questions in the climate change debate: Are humans any smarter than frogs in a pot? If you put a frog in a pot and slowly turn up the heat, it won’t jump out. Instead, it will enjoy the nice warm bath until it is cooked to death. We humans seem to be doing pretty much the same thing.” – Jeff Goodell

I have good reason to believe Jeff Goodell every summer when I feel like a frog being boiled to death slowly. I know he was referring to global warming but somehow I feel it’s more relevant to the climate in Florida. With the month of May looming, it is time for me to get prepared for heat that will start gaining pace by mid-May and last right up through mid- October in Tampa. The days will slowly tend to get hotter and will continue to do so through October! Throw in the humidity, and it’s a natural sauna. When I shifted here from Buffalo, everyone assured me that I would get acclimated to the place soon; yet, I am still waiting and paying high utility bills all the 12 months. Believe me, the winters force you to get the heater running as well.

There is something weird about the weather in Tampa, the famous lightning capital of America. Whereas in most regions the heat and humidity start getting at you around 10 a.m., here it begins as early 7 a.m. and doesn’t let go of you till late night. Also, it rains so often in summer, usually around 4 p.m. Thank God for the AC and pool in the backyard that has kept me sane until now!

Since I am going to live here not just for few more years but decades, if not boiled to death, I decided to make my home better equipped for this summer this year. I was attracted to the window treatment my neighbor had on his windows – they seemed effective in controlling the heat gain as well as heat loss, keeping a constant temperature in his home. I had not visited him often but had to when I settled here to learn a few things around the new town. The occasional tray of brownies induced him to be more convivial and somehow, once I brought up the topic of his window shades, he was quite excited to tell me all about it. Men, so unpredictable!

Insulated window treatments a must.

He explained that he had installed the Crown Custom Cordless Cellular Shades, before anyone else had done so in the neighborhood, for their incredible insulating property. It was an ideal window treatment, keeping the climate of our town in mind and also gave him substantial privacy. I just wondered whether he was referring to pesky neighbors like me, but outwardly showed him just a warm smile! As we munched on the brownie between cups of coffee, he enthusiastically explained everything about the honeycomb structure of the shades. That was too much information for my brain to process all at once but I understood that this was fairly new concept, introduced in 1980s, and air is trapped inside the honeycomb-like structure to maintain a stable temperature inside the room. There are many different versions of these contemporary window shades in the market giving consumers choices. They were technologically advanced to suit modern home decor.

He showed me how they were installed into the sides of his window frame, rather than being installed with a valance at the top of the frame. This allowed the shade to be raised, and also to be pulled down from the top when required. That was the reason they were called TDBU, top down bottom up cordless cellular shade, which I realized only now. He had installed his cellular shades few years ago, yet I could see the crisp, sharp pleats, even after constant use. I could see that the fabric, which allowed softly diffused light into his room, was quite durable, resisting sagging, stretching, or fraying at the edges.

By now the brownies were gone, and coffee pot was empty and I was fairly convinced that this was an ideal window treatment that could provide substantial privacy, as well as conventional light intensity for my indoors. My neighbor was sure that this was the ultimate solution for my windows, especially with the summer approaching. He explained that the cooler temperatures brought in my home by the air conditioning would not escape to the outdoors since the cooler air will move slowly around my windows with cellular shades. It was a great investment that would save me money, energy, and time. And appeared sleek and tidy, so they must be easy to maintain as well.

Finally, I announced that I was opting the Crown Top Down Bottom Up Cordless Cellular Shades for my home. I was informed that they were easily available for online purchase as well, with customization options and a how-to install guide. I made it very clear that I was not the person who loved to hold a hammer ever in my life, so would like some help in installation. My friendly neighbor offered to install them for me for a fee that was way less than what a professional would charge me. He also came over to help me take measurements, customize the shades online and make my final purchase. He reminded of what Sylvia Mathews Burwell said, “Day after day, ordinary people become heroes through extraordinary and selfless actions to help their neighbors.”

With my new sleek window coverings, I discovered a new cozy ambiance. I was amazed by the insulation they provided, which reduced the outside noise to a large extent as well. What I loved the most was the gentle illumination of my home, which increased the beauty of every other interior element. The cordless operation was smooth and easy. I am a happy and satisfied customer and neighbor!

Now I have nothing to complain about – not my neighbors, and not the climate in Tampa. I am ready for the summer heat, at least in the comfort zone of my home where I am definitely not going to be boiled to death!

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