Along with barbeques, pool parties, and picnics, the summertime also brings increased air conditioning costs as homeowners struggle to keep their homes cool. One way to spend less money on your home’s air conditioning bill this summer is by installing energy efficient windows. Before purchasing new windows, you should always check the energy performance ratings to find windows that will block solar radiation and lessen your home’s dependency on AC. If you aren’t in the market for new eco-friendly windows, you can still make your current windows more energy efficient without breaking the bank.

Check out these four great ways you can help your existing windows absorb less heat and  lower your AC costs this summer:

  1. Install window awnings. Window awnings can block the sunlight from directly penetrating into the window, resulting in less heat entering the home.  According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, window awnings can “reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows.” Because awnings need ventilation in order to prevent hot air from becoming confined in the area around the window, make sure there are openings on the sides of the awning. In addition, you can choose to install awnings that can open to the top or sides for extra ventilation.

  2. Tint Your Windows. By covering the exterior of your window with reflective film, you can prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from entering your home. Not only will reducing the amount of sunlight that enters your home decrease the temperature of your home, it will also prevent your interior furniture from fading under direct sunlight as an added perk. Tinting will be most effective in blocking heat from windows that are facing east and west due to their relationship to the sun’s orientation.

  3. Add mesh screens. In addition to serving as a barrier to pesky mosquitos and other bugs, mesh screens can disperse the heat from the sun. When you install mesh screens to your existing windows, make sure that they cover the expanse of your entire window to block as much solar radiation as possible.

  4. Caulk your old windows. Seal in the cracks around your windows with a quality caulking job to prevent the cool air in your home from leaking out. Not only will caulking make your home more energy efficient, it will also increase the lifespan of your windows. Caulking will also keep your home warmer in the winter, so you can benefit from a caulking job done well all year round.

You can either DIY your own projects or you can work with a home improvement contractor to increase the energy efficiency of your windows. Talk with an AROCON window contractor about personalized steps that you can take to improve your windows to decrease your AC costs and keep your home cool at the same time.