Energy saving idea.. if at first you don't succeed..

Last weekend I found myself waiting around inside a Home Depot store. I had all kinds of time to kill, so I figured that I'd just wander. And wander I did!

I decided that since I was going to be in a home "stuff" store, that I might as well look around and see if they had any good deals on multi-packs of compact fluorescent lights. I'm the type of person that very rarely asks the friendly store people for help finding things, so I went into the "Lighting" area and began looking. Three or four aisles full of lighting stuff. Fixtures, switches, ceiling fans, decorative lamps, security lights, tons of light bulbs. But I couldn't find any compact fluorescents. There was even a "Fluorescent" aisle. Just the tubes and circular tubes. Useless. So I looped again. After the second time I was sure that I was just an idiot and was walking right past them.. so I went again. No luck – but by now, the lighting associate had seen me go past several times, so it was past the point of asking. I walked away.

My next wander led me to a small rack of window films. $30-40 per roll of thin plastic, with choices like "privacy" to give the window that frosted "don't look in my bathroom" finish, to a mirrored look, to ultraviolet and heat blocking film. That last one seemed interesting. I'm refusing to run my air conditioning, so blocking solar heat from entering my house seemed like a great way to keep things cool. Except at $40 for enough to do (maybe) half my windows, this didn't look like a very cost effective way to go about it.

Wednesday I woke up with a brilliant idea. I have a roll of mylar film left over (used it as a light reflector for plants) that might do an excellent job at blocking light and, in the process, heat from entering through the windows. Awesome. Until I realized that if my neighbor looked towards my house while the sun was shining from that direction.. well, they'd most likely be blinded by my window. To shorten this a bit, I ended up buying a cheap white sheet to put out towards the window, and then attached it with double sided tape to the mylar, and attached that all with tape to the window. I had originally thought of using magnets, but I guess the windows are vinyl. Ugh. To make things worse, the tape didn't hold very well.

Next time I run to the store I'm going to pick up some more of those 3M "Command" adhesive hooks (I think that's what they're called at least.) Then I'll attach those to the window, punch some holes in my magic-heat-reflecting window covers, and hang them on the hooks. I can't see how that can go horribly wrong, but if it does, I'll go into detail about it here. Aren't you excited?! 😉

My phone is being obnoxiously silent right now, so it's time to finish this post and get in some reading.

Until the next post..


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  1. sparx said,

    Well if that isn't the oddest thing.. I was catching up on my rss feeds before turning off the laptop, and lifehack had this post:
    Which is essentially what I've just described, and just done.. even with the magnet idea. Except in that case, magnets were an acceptable solution.

    Ugh. Has anyone else ever posted an idea, and then a few minutes later read an almost identical idea somewhere else?

    August 3, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

  2. spudart said,

    Hooray! I have not turned on my air conditionar either. (why am i spelling things with "ar" lately?) Dude you need to get some drapes. Chicks like drapes.

    I'd like to find some high lumen output compact fluroscents that are neutral in color. The yellow-cast ones are fine, and i use them all over my apartment. But when i do tabletop photography, i also use the compact fluros, cuz I can hang a paper towel over the light to soften the light. And the fluros are cool enough where I don't set my place on fire. But I don't like the yellow cast on my photos. They should make a neutral one. And high lumen output too! Maybe I'll blog about this.

    August 8, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  3. spudart said,

    Oh speaking of RSS, what do you use to read your feeds? I use NetNewsWire. It rawks. I also been using the IM bot feedcrier for feeds that I want immediate notification about. I just added sparxmind to the IM list. 🙂

    Hey dude, i'd like to have email notifications for your posts when new comments are left. Doesn't WordPress have a plug-in for that? The rss feeds are fine, but the email subscription thing is a bit easier. Otherwise I'm gonna have like 100 feeds for your site running. 😮

    August 8, 2007 @ 10:14 am

  4. sparx said,

    I know.. I thought about drapes. But I thought it'd be a fun project to create a heat barrier, rather than just a light barrier. *sniffle* I just wanted a project.

    Have you tried the daylight/sunlight or natural spectrum or whatever they're called bulbs? GE makes some CF, and I had a 40watt bulb that was blindingly bright. I'd give those a try, I think they might be just what you're looking for. Walmart carries them.

    I use I don't know why, the presentation is just more appealing than the 'Folder/Item' view that all the other feed readers throw out there.

    And now… wait for it… there's a 'subscribe to comment' checkbox! 🙂 I only look at the page logged in as myself, and I thought there already was a subscribe link for all of you. Ugh. Thanks for pointing that out though.

    August 8, 2007 @ 10:45 am

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