Here’s my best beat-the-heat tip: Go to the ReBuilding Center in Portland and buy some used blinds or shades for next to nothing to cover your windows. We purchased wooden Levelor blinds for our two upstairs windows for $3 each! The blinds are in great condition. They even had top-of-the-line Hunter Douglas blinds for sale (those usually retail for more than $100).
And in case you’re wondering, ReBuilding Center sells the blinds pulled tight and wrapped up with a measurement taped to the outside wrapping. You don’t have to wade through a nasty tangle of cords and broken slats.
Having the windows covered has lowered the temperature upstairs at least 10 degrees. Wish I had done this last weekend!
Image courtesy of the ReBuilding Center.