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Using Shade to Reduce Energy Bills

By: Danny Lipford

Homeowners are always looking for easy, economical ways to reduce their monthly heating and cooling costs. If your home heats up in the summertime the solution may be as simple as a little shade.

Rooms with windows that get direct sunlight will heat up quickly in warm weather putting a strain on your cooling system but there are some things you can do to help ease that load.

  • Tinted Window Film: Installing a tinted film on your windows can block a significant amount of the sun’s heat while also protecting your furnishings from fading. The biggest payback comes on windows that aren’t already covered with draperies or shades because those will block heat too.
  • Awnings: Installing awnings over windows is another way to block the sun’s rays and this can reduce a room’s temperature by up to 15 degrees, saving up to 25% on the air conditioning needs for a particular room.
  • Shade Tree: If you’re not crazy about the look of an awning you might consider a strategically planted shade tree to get similar benefits.


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10 Comments on “Using Shade to Reduce Energy Bills”

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  • Steve Says:
    December 1st, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Tim/Carol – good info. As Tim mentioned radiant barrier foil reduces surface temps. Attic temps usually drop some because of this. But, if you have enough ventilation then attic temps will close to outside temps. Combine good ventilation with radiant barrier for max benefit to reduce surface temps and air temps. Radiant barrier will work with any vents as long as there is a path for the air to get up and out.
    Here is an install video:

  • Heinz R.Eckhardt Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    where do I get FREE info as how to build your own solar hot water heater?

    Thank you


  • Kevin Says:
    July 5th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Timm/Carol – Thanks so much for your input! I’m always looking for helpful hints to reduce my energy costs, especially during our humid summers in the Richmond, VA area. Thanks again!

  • carol Says:
    July 5th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    If you use Radiant Barrier make sure you have ridge vents
    to get rid of hot air taken to top by the barrier. Had in
    our house in Fla. for 15 years. Its just great..also when
    you replace your a.c. try to get a zoned system..

  • Timm Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Kevin- Radiant Barrier is a WONDERFUL product… when installed and used properly. As a stand-alone product it is worthless. When used in conjunction with proper insulation it is great! But instead of a foil, consider a spray-on such as Heatbloc-75 or LoMit. A true RB should be installed on the attic ceiling, NOT on the attic floor. Keep this in mind. Also, if someone tells you that RB cools the air temperature in your attic, don’t believe them. It cools surface temps, not air temps. So by cooling the surface temp of the insulation, it makes everything more efficient. Please contact me if you have any questions!

  • aimz Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    i dont get it

  • John Cannamela Says:
    September 15th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Shade will help but if possible install curtains that extend to the floor.Vents are typically installed in front of windows,to wash the area with hot or cold air.If the window was installed poorly or is a low R value glass then all you can do besides replace the window is blanket the area.

    John Cannamela

  • janice chappell Says:
    July 6th, 2007 at 7:56 am

    im thinking about that film you apply but you have to use a tool to get it off. have you ever used it & is it hard to get off & can it damage the windows? thanks

  • Kevin Collins Says:
    July 2nd, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    What do think about radiant barrier (foil) insulation for the attic? Is this a worthwhile investment?

  • Jeff Says:
    June 26th, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Where Do I Buy BLINDS That Fit Into Windows Units?

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Using Shade to Reduce Energy Bills