How can I make my historic apartment a cool, historic apartment?
August 10, 2007 8:46 AM   Subscribe

It's hot in my bedroom ... and not for the right reasons. Help me cool it off.

I'm renting an apartment in an historic building in Phoenix, circa. 1913. The front part of my apartment is fine...It gets cool enough. However, the back of the apartment turns into a sauna first thing in the morning when the sun comes blazing up, as can only happen in Phoenix.

I have wood blinds in the living room and shades in the bedroom. The living room windows are OK (though it is still sweltering in here in the morning) but the bedroom windows are old and cracking around the frames (don't ask why I didn't notice this when I was looking at the apartment). Is there something, some kind of heat-resistant/sunlight deflecting product that I might put over the windows to keep both the heat and the sunlight out? This is a rental so it would have to require minimal effort and expense. My landlord is not the friendliest person...She's very businesslike and I'd like to leave her out of this. I'll likely be here for the next six months and right now, I can't even sleep. Thanks.
posted by notjustfoxybrown to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Room darkening shades
posted by desjardins at 8:56 AM on August 10, 2007

Heat control window film
posted by desjardins at 8:57 AM on August 10, 2007 [3 favorites]

Aluminum foil. As demonstrated by dooce.
posted by contessa at 8:59 AM on August 10, 2007

There's tinting film for house windows. It's similar to the products used to tint car windows. The kind with the reflective metallic coating works the best at cutting heat. You can strip the film off when you move out, if your landlady doesn't like the look of it.

Also, if your apt has eaves around back, see if you can hang an outdoor blind from it. That extra bit of shade falling on your window can help a lot.
posted by jamaro at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2007

Response by poster: Ahh..I like this heat control window film. Thanks!
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:06 AM on August 10, 2007

Lowe's has these heat blocking films. I don't know if they work. My first thought was that plastic stuff you put around the interior of the windows in winter to keep out the cold (and use a hair dryer to shrink-to-fit), but I can't for the life of me remember what it's really called. Home Depot also has the films.
posted by cooker girl at 9:08 AM on August 10, 2007

Best answer: I have, during desperate times, placed one of those sun shades that they sell for car windshields in a window. With a good fit, it works great. It's easily removable, and no one thinks you're trying to keep aliens out of your brain.
posted by advicepig at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2007

I recently moved into a new apartment and there was a specific clause in the lease indicating that tenants are not to place or apply any kind of foil or otherwise reflective metal film/material against the windows.

I thought this was funny until Cleveland hit this current spell of humidity and high temperatures.
posted by vkxmai at 9:45 AM on August 10, 2007

You might try this idea for combining cheap reflective emergency blankets and white sheets into a semi-attractive heat-shielding window covering. At the very least it's inexpensive, so if it doesn't work, you're not out much.
posted by donnagirl at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2007

If you can, put a shade outside your window. If you want to be really sneaky about it, some kind of plant would work well (just make sure it doesn't actually grow ON the wall). (You can also listen to the song "What Does The Glass Of A Greenhouse Do?" which is quite good and highly recommended.)

Oh, and remember to open your windows at night, and close them at the crack of dawn!
posted by anaelith at 10:08 AM on August 10, 2007

seconding donnagirl put a white sheet on the window then put a foil emergency blanket over that then lower the blinds that should help alot.
posted by DJWeezy at 11:10 AM on August 10, 2007

Disclaimer: I work for a blinds company that specifically targets customers that have heat related issues.

I don't know about in the US, but in the UK there are plenty of companies that provide blinds with a 80-90% rate of heat reflection (the backing is specially formulated aluminium). At the end of the day, they're just roller blinds with a reflective backing. Try attaching tin foil to a cheap roller blind and see how you get on.
posted by saturnine at 5:21 PM on August 10, 2007

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