SOUTHFILED (WWJ) – Weather is the number one cause of higher electric bills, especially as air conditioning usage increases along with rising outdoor temperatures.

With outside temperatures directly affecting how often and how long systems must run to cool homes and businesses, air conditioning could account for half or more of your electric bills.

Luckily, there’s a few simple things you can do to keep excess light and heat out of your home, helping air conditioners work more efficiently and saving money in the process.

Window Shading

Windows and glass doors that face east and west are the most likely to let unwanted heat into your home. Here are some ways to shade the area:

Landscaping – You must plan before you plant. Consider the mature size of plants and their distance from power lines.

Awnings – These work best when the sun is high in the sky. They shade windows well but are not cost effective based solely on energy savings.

Window Coverings – These reduce the amount of heat that enters from the sun. They shade windows well but are not cost effective based solely on energy savings.


This is an inexpensive solution to help reduce the amount of air that enters or escapes your home through doors and windows. Types of weather-stripping include:

• V-shaped vinyl

• Adhesive-backed foam

• Spring metal

• Door sweep


Caulking is an additional way to reduce unwanted airflow. It is only worthwhile when done as part of another project, such as painting. Use silicone or siliconized acrylic caulk because they have the longest life span, work well on most surfaces and will maintain their elasticity.

Ceiling Insulation

Adding insulation to your home can reduce heating and cooling costs. Homes built after 1982 are required to have R-19 insulation. However, if your home was built before 1982, you may benefit from adding insulation.

Installing additional insulation:

• Keeps unwanted heat out

• Reduces the workload of your cooling system

• Can result in additional savings on your electric bill

Looking for ways to spend your summer? Check out the CBSDetroit Summer Guide.


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