When we designed this house, we purposely filled the back side with lots of windows. There are bay windows in the breakfast room, a triple window in the family room and three sets of sliding glass doors...two with three doors and one with four. I wanted it to feel like we were part of the outdoors and I think we succeeded.
Starting now, however, some of those views look like this:
The temperature topped 90 degrees yesterday so I was keenly aware of how frequently the air conditioner cycled on an off. And when that happens, it's time to sacrifice some of those prized outdoor views for a lower energy bill.
The window coverings on the east side of the house are closed now and they won't reopen until cool weather returns in the fall. That's no great loss; those windows all face the house that's in foreclosure. At least the bank is sending someone by to mow it regularly so the view's improving but it's not something I'll miss seeing.
The west side is a compromise. I close them all at lunch time and reopen them when the sun sets so I can see out when I get up in the morning. We'll call it a mental health thing...I need my daylight. And that's exactly why the drapes are never drawn over the two sliding glass doors in the living area. At least there's a large overhang on the back porch so they're protected from direct sunlight.
It hardly seems fair when you think about it, does it. When the yard is drab and the skies are more likely dull and gray, I'm free to see outside all day every day. And now that things are green and blooming and the skies are a brilliant blue, I'm forced to close it all off. But blocking the sun's rays makes a big difference in the temperature inside the house and while my aesthetic side would rather have the view, my practical side would prefer to have the money in my pocket. So the blinds are closed...but I don't have to like it.