Blue Glass coffee cup

The Sun List: How to Keep the Damage At Bay

I am assuming spring is on the way. It’s  May, for heaven’s sake, and I’m still wearing my winter jacket on the morning kitty-walk. At least we know spring will eventually get here and with it comes our friend/enemy the sun. Lots of sun. So much sun it can create rug shadows on the floor, disintegrate the curtain fibers, bleach the upholstery and drive the air conditioning costs way, way up.

In light of the current interest in “Life Lists” here is this year’s Sun List. Each one of these solutions will save you money in the long run.


1. Get any carpets with rubber, latex, Isoprene, or elastomer backing off the floors.

(Check the labels.) They will damage vinyl for sure, but the sun can accelerate the chemical reaction that causes the floor to yellow and can color other flooring surfaces besides vinyl. Or  the backing can disintegrate and adhere to the floor. As seen here.

2. Add removable black-out liners to existing curtains and drapery. Get pre-made ones or call someone (like me) to custom make yours.



Quick hang curtain rod


3. Use screw-less drapery brackets and install temporary black-out curtains over your blinds or shades.

solar film graphic



4. Get solar film applied to your windows.

Even high-efficiency windows will not stop enough of the damaging UV rays from passing through. A high-grade solar film can block up to 85%; talk to the local glass places for a quote.  Read about solar film here


5. Make sure the edge gap is minimal.

If you are buying new blinds or shades, spend the extra to get the room-darkening backing. A 1/8-inch gap on a 36 x 48-inch blind equals a hole of 12 square inches in your coverage.

edge gap1_optedge gap2_opt-2edge gap3_opt

This is a roller shade. After install (on the left)  it had real problem with edge gap — as much as a 1-inch gap on the left side.  Blackout was the point of the shade. The wonderful outline of the sunshine was not the point. And in the winter the blind offered no cold protection at all. We added some side panels and a valance, and a bit of trim along the bottom.,  Keeps the sun out and  the heat in.


6.Hang your solar shades inside, not outside.

Sun-blocking window coverings are 30% more effective when hung inside the window as opposed to outside. I can’t think of a better reason to fore-go the bamboo or heavy opaque roller shades.



smokeblue shade cloth

7. Invest in some shade cloth curtains for your balcony

If it is unusable during the peak sun periods, this cloth will solve the problem. This cloth can be cut and installed without any sewing, won’t fray or rip easily, comes in a whack of colors and can block up to 90% of the UV rays while allowing view-through. Call me for sources or look here.


8. And one last thing. A room painted a cool color can feel up to 15 degrees cooler than a room painted a warm color.

Look at these two rooms and think how they will feel when it’s 30 degrees outside.

blue bedroom red bedroom







Trick yourself with a blue place mat or table cloth; use a cool blue and yellow coffee cup.  Want to read  about this more? Check this out . And here is a column I wrote about this a while ago. Heat can raise your blood pressure, wearing temperature-appropriate clothing can help. A lot.

From my column: Two Things, July 2013.  — About keeping yourself cool too.

And now to one of my pet peeves. Again. I feel sorry for people who suffer in the summer heat. I don’t feel sorry for people who suffer in the summer heat but who insist on wearing polyester and knits. A T-shirt is a knit – just like a sweater, only thinner. Poly-cotton blouses, shirts, skirts and pants hold heat against your body. You may be wrinkle-free but you will feel the heat more than if you wear natural fibers in a woven fabric. Anyone who wears just natural fibers in the summer knows this.

So now, here is the proof. From the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health: Quoting one of several studies: “It was found that local sweating, and thus thermal stress, was higher with polyester fabrics than cotton fabrics…The onset of sweating was earlier, self-reported thermal sensation was warmer, pulse rate was higher, and changes in body temperature were greater among subjects wearing polyester versus cotton clothing. Subjects also felt wetter in polyester…. Skin temperatures were higher with polyester.” Did you get that? Your heart rate goes up, your skin surface temperature goes up, you sweat sooner and you feel hotter than if you wore cotton. Read the study, and check out their sources.

Want to learn how to stop hating your Venetians? Watch my video at


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