4 Window Tricks To Save On Cooling Costs

During the summer, 30 percent of your home's unwanted heat pours in through the windows. This extra heat makes it difficult for your air conditioner to cool your home efficiently. However, with a few window tricks, you can block out a significant amount of unwanted heat to save energy and reduce your cooling costs.

Close the shades or curtains.

When sunlight comes in through the windows, it creates a greenhouse effect by scattering light and producing heat, quickly warming up sun-exposed rooms. The extra heat produced by unshaded windows makes your air conditioner work that much harder to cool a room. Pull the shades or curtains to block out the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day. Consider curtains or shades that are white or light in color—they'll reflect the light rather than absorbing it as darker colors do.

Apply tinted film to the windows.

You may have noticed that the windows on the east or west-facing sides of your home are hotter than the others. This happens when the angle of the sun allows the light to hit the windows directly, causing significant heat gain. By installing low-cost window tint on east or west-facing windows, you can save up to 7 percent on annual cooling expenses. In some homes, south-facing windows may need to be tinted as well. North facing windows do not need tint or shading because the sun only shines on them in early morning or late afternoon, and the angle of incidence allows the glass and walls to reflect the sunlight back.

Shade the outside of the window.

A couple of outside window fixes can help you block out the sun's hot rays, too. One of the easiest and most beautiful ways to shade certain rooms from sunlight is by planting a tree in front of the window. Of course, trees take a long time to mature, so you may want to opt for tall, fast-growing shrubbery instead.

You can also shade the window on the exterior by installing awnings over those that let in the most sunlight. This will allow you to keep your curtains and blinds open to enjoy the natural light while avoiding hot, direct sunlight.

Make sure your air conditioner fits the window.

Window units come with window "curtains" on either side of the unit to help block out air on either side. Make sure these fit securely against the window and against the air conditioner itself. If you find a rip or tear, or if the frame is bent and won't allow proper closure, order a replacement.

Using these tips, you'll reduce the amount of heat gained through your windows, keeping your home cooler. In turn, your air conditioner will be more efficient, and you'll save on annual energy costs. Contact a professional like Wright Total Indoor Comfort for more information.