Community Interest:

I would like to share a simple way in which I have significantly lowered by heating costs by hundreds of dollars. When I enclosed my large porch, I installed pull down roller shades that I painted flat black on the outside.

Being a nerd, I documented the energy-saving benefits of my "solar shades." Applying thermometers to the back side of the shades, the temperature rose to 110 degrees. One cannot stand next to a shade because it gets so hot.

Depending on the time of the day, I have between 60 and 90 sq.ft. of porch shades facing the sun. In effect, I have 110 degree heat radiators on par with two or more hot water radiators without burning hydrocarbons and generating green house gases.

I documented the temperature differential between the outside and porch: On one day at 8:30, the outside was 38, inside was 65 ... another day, 45/70 ... 39/65 ... 32/70.

One day I recorded half-hour temperature rises after I pulled down the shades--the last figure is the temperature differential or rise:

8:30 35/38 3

9:00 38/49 11

9:30 38/54 16

10:00 41/61 20

10:30 42/64 22

11:00 42/67 25

11:30 44/68 24

Given the passive nature of my solar shades, this is an impressive energy-saving device. I put them on windows inside my house which lowered my heating costs. In addition, when the porch temperature rose above 70, I opened my front door to exchange heat. The porch temperature dropped by 10 degrees while the house warmed up.

My ten shades cost $1.67 each at Wal-Mart with a quart of black paint costing $5--less than $25 total. It took me about two hours to paint ten shades. I think I have saved over $500 in heating costs in the last two seasons. This is a lot of CO2 reduction. This a simple, cost-effective and elegant solution to a common human need.

I believe one or more of the national auto-paint chains could provide a flat-black spraying service with tv advertising. Homeowners take in their shades one day and pick them up the next day. I would be willing to work gratis with one of your sales person in explaining the process to a regional sales manager of the chains. At $2 a shade, they could make more money in a day than they could painting cars in their spray/drying booths.

Thank you for review,


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