Friday, December 7, 2007

Day 140 - Let the Sun Shine In

Opening the Curtains to Take Advantage of Solar Heat

OK, I'll admit it. Even this weathered (or "wintered") Upstate New York-er can finally say: It's friggin' cold here. And it is. So cold it even snowed on Wednesday and I violated my compact to buy some long-johns to wear while jogging. With the cold weather settling in, and the thermostat staying low, I'm starting to realize just how much heat is generated when the sun comes shining through our front windows.

Our house, in addition to being poorly designed, is also poorly positioned to take advantage of the sun's warming rays. I suppose in a mostly-too-hot climate like Virginia, it's actually a good thing. But right now - With the cold and all? It's really pissing me off.

The only rooms in our house with southern exposure are the kids' playroom downstairs and the master bedroom upstairs. There are absolutely NO WINDOWS on either the east or west sides, so all of the other rooms, in addition to remaining in a state of total cave darkness, don't get any of that free solar heat.

But to make the most of what I do have, I'm giving the playroom and the master bedroom the ol' open and shut treatment these days. When the sun is shining I make sure to pull back the curtains in those rooms to let all that glowing, golden sunshine warm up my rooms for free.

Do I worry that the neighbors will peek in? Not really. It's way too chilly to be walking around naked anyhow. The best they can hope for is to catch me picking my nose or something. Besides, if they're so bored that the highlight of their day is to spy on the freaky eco-chick and her two kids, then who am I to deny them their entertainment?


I don't have an actual number to put here. Which, of course, bothers the obsessive Mathlete in me. However, I can tell you that the kids and I are spending a lot more time sitting on the floor in the playroom than we are hanging out on the couch in the living room! The end result is that the thought of cheating and turning up the thermostat doesn't cross my mind nearly as often.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

It takes all of one minute to pull back the curtains. I don't have fancy tiebacks or anything, so I just tie them in a knot (yeah, very Martha Stewart of me, right?). I've never been known for my interior design skills and I'm sure it looks just as bad from the outside as it does inside, but whatever. The only really big downer is that nearly every day I have to see exactly how filthy my windows are.

1 comment:

Vera said...

lol, I do this too during the day. I think it warms the house by about 1 degree. I also cheat if I really can't stand the cold by using our space heater and just staying in one room.