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It Shuts the Shades to Keep Cold In or else It Gets the Hose Again

July 13, 2010

by Ashley Akin

As anyone who has ever been to my house knows, I have issues. Everything has a place, and I literally cannot go to sleep until everything is just so. As vices go, this one isn’t so bad, but in college I used to skip class if I was running late and had to decide between being on time and making my bed. Yeah, so that happened.

My roommate and my friend Harvey even invented a game in which they would rearrange my picture frames and T-shirts while I was out to see if I would notice the disorder. I did. And for a while I was convinced I was the target of some elaborate plot by a serial killer in which he would drive me slowly insane by changing the order of my Buffy DVDs… Needless to say, after I convinced my roommate I was completely nuts by telling her I had a vision I was thrown down a well with a year’s supply of Lubriderm, the game came to a halt. Sometimes you just have to get people to fear you, and I’ve found that insanity works just as well as intimidation most of the time.

Anyway, my O.C.D. requires that I leave the house looking as close to a Pottery Barn catalog as possible, even though most of my furniture is 40-year-old hand-me-downs from the ‘rents. (Just so we’re clear, my O.C.D. is mild – I don’t have to floss 27 times a day or flip the light switch on and off for 30 minutes before I can get a Diet Coke, so don’t go calling in A&E or anything for an expose. My O.C.D. won’t allow me to be in a show on a network that supplies the world with Hoarders anyway.)

All of this is to say that I like to leave things looking “pretty,” and part of that means flinging all of the blinds open to let in the light, even if I’m going to be gone for all of the daylight hours. Well guess what campers: turns out that is freaking stupid. Just keeping the blinds shut can reduce the escape of heat or air conditioning year round, and closed curtains can even act as a layer of insulation. So all you have to do to save some energy and some cash is keep the curtains closed. If you really want to go frat-boy, sleep-til-noon-on-Tuesday style, you can purchase blackout shades which will reduce heat loss by a quarter in the winter (and they can cost as little as $10). They’ll also keep out the prying eyes of your landlord, so you won’t have to take down that pyramid of Coors you’ve been working so hard on. You’re welcome gentlemen.

So there’s the trade-off: Your house is not constantly at-the-ready for a Southern Living photo shoot, but you get to come home to a cooler, darker house that costs you less to cool. This is BEYOND easy people, and let’s be honest – we live in Memphis. Leaving all of your windows open and your valuables exposed is less than a wise move. Just ask my friend Jay – He once had his car stolen from our high school only to have it returned covered in cigarette butts and fried chicken. And it wasn’t even Gus’s. For shame, thieves – K.F.C. is for Northerners and tourists who don’t know better.

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