Install window shades such as blinds or shutters
If the sun creates overwhelming heat in your home during the warmer months, you can improve your comfort and lower your cooling costs by adding shading to your windows.
Things to think about:
- Provide adequate shade — especially to windows that face south or west, since they let in the most heat in summer months.
- Shading the outside of your windows is more effective at blocking heat than using indoor shades or drapes. Consider shading the exterior of your home with shutters, awnings, exterior solar blinds or solar screening. Just remember that you'll want any exterior shading to be removable during the winter months, when sunlight can help heat your home's interior.
- Planting deciduous trees — trees that usually lose their leaves in the fall — nearby is an excellent way to increase shading, because it shades the windows in the summer but allows sun exposure in the winter.
- Light-colored drapes and shades reflect the sun's energy, while darker ones absorb it and release heat.
- Remote control blinds are available for hard-to-reach windows.
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