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4 Summer Window Mistakes That Cost You Money in Phoenix

2019 May 31
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the benefits of a ductless AC system in Phoenix

Your AC has to work harder and longer as more heat enters your home. Unfortunately, the harder your AC works, the higher your energy bills and the more wear and tear your system sustains.

One of the most common ways for heat to enter your home is through improperly covered or improperly sealed windows. According to Energy.gov, heat gain and loss via windows accounts for 25-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.

Here are 4 common window mistakes that cost homeowners extra money:

  1. Leaving windows & doors uncovered
  2. Installing the wrong drapes
  3. No exterior window coverings
  4. Improperly sealed windows

Below, we’ll walk through each of these summer window mistakes so you can prevent high summer cooling costs.

Think your high summer cooling bills may be linked to a larger issue? Our team of experts would be happy to take a look at your AC system and ensure it’s working correctly. Learn more about AC repairs or schedule an appointment!

Mistake #1: Leaving windows & doors uncovered

This may sound obvious, but forgetting to cover windows (and doors with windows) during the heat of the day will likely result in a large heat intake through these windows.

Here’s our suggestion: Cover windows and doors that face East/West during the day and let light through windows that aren’t directly facing the sun. You can uncover windows during times of the day when the sun isn’t as intense, like early in the morning or in the evenings.

Essentially, you want to avoid leaving windows uncovered that intake direct sunlight.

Now that we’ve discussed why you should cover your windows, let’s discuss what you should cover your windows with.  

Mistake #2: The wrong drapes

One of the best ways to reduce the heat coming in from your windows is to cover them with medium-colored drapes.

According to energy.gov, studies show that medium-covered drapes with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gain by 33%.

A few other factors that help drapes reduce heat intake are:

  • Fabric type- Thicker fabrics like cotton are great because they can block heat better than lighter fabrics like open-weaved fabrics.
  • Thread count- Drapes with higher thread count tend to reduce the amount of light (and heat) that comes through your windows
  • Layers- Drapes with more layers are better at keeping heat out of your home than drapes with 1 layer.
  • Color- As we mentioned above, medium-colored drapes are ideal because they reflect heat (vs. absorb it). Installing medium-colored drapes will help block the sun and reduce the amount of heat that is coming through your windows.

Other interior window coverings to consider are:

  • Insulated cellular shades
  • Window film
  • Window quilts

Depending on your windows and the direction they face, you may want to consider multiple interior window treatments. For example, you could install window film as well as medium-colored drapes to minimize the heat that comes through your windows.

You can learn more about different interior window treatments and the benefits they provide, here.

Mistake #3: No exterior window coverings

Exterior window coverings are just as important as interior window coverings when it comes to preventing heat from entering your home.

Ways that you can protect your windows include:

The more protected your windows are, the less heat will enter your home through them.

Mistake #4: Improperly sealed windows

Heat not only enters your home through window panes but through spaces around your windows, like holes and cracks. The best way to combat this is to ensure that all of your windows and doors are properly sealed and weather stripped.

This is a project you can complete on your own, but for maximum energy savings, you may want to have a professional come to your home and seal your windows for you, so you can ensure that heat isn’t leaking into your home through unseen cracks or holes.

If you do decide this is a project you want to take on, you can find a step-by-step guide of how to caulk and weatherstrip your windows on Energy.gov.

The best way to reduce summer cooling costs in Phoenix: Maintain your AC system

The best way to reduce summer cooling costs is to make sure your AC system is working as efficiently as possible. To do this, you should have a professional come to your home for an AC check-up at least once a year.

We offer annual check-ups for as low as $79.95, and during a check-up, our techs will:*

  • Check thermostat operation
  • Clean filter or replace (customer supplied)
  • Inspect indoor blower and motor for dirt buildup
  • Inspect condensate drain
  • Inspect bearings and lubricate all moving parts
  • Inspect outdoor coil and advise customer of condition
  • Inspect and test safety switches
  • Check & document superheat & subcool (cooling)
  • Explain necessary repairs
  • Inspect wiring & tighten electrical connections
  • Run and test system

*These are just a few of the services we provide. Visit our AC check-up page for the full list of services we offer during an AC check-up.