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4 Tips For Reducing Summer Cooling Costs If You Live In The Desert Southwest

by Sheila Vasquez

If you live in the desert southwest, you most likely dread opening your summer electric bills. During the hottest months of the year your air conditioner probably runs around the clock, which can be quite expensive. If you want to keep your home at a comfortable temperature while saving money at the same time, use the following tips to reduce your summer cooling costs:

Purchase a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a wonderful tool that will allow you to dictate when your air conditioner runs, which can lead to drastic savings on your cooling bills. When no one will be home during the day, set the thermostat several degrees higher so the air conditioner isn't cooling an empty house. Then set the thermostat to a lower temperature for just before you get home so your house is cool when you walk in.

Invest in Thick Curtains

Curtains can go a long way in keeping your home at a cool temperature so your air conditioner does not have to run as often. Consider purchasing thick curtains or even black out shades for the windows in your home that face the east or west. Keep the curtains on the east side of the home closed during the morning and early afternoon, and open then after the sun has reached its highest peak. In the afternoon, close all of the curtains on the west side of the house to prevent the afternoon sun from heating up your home.

Plant Shade Trees

If you want to boost your landscaping and reduce your cooling bill at the same time, consider planting shade trees around the perimeter of your home. When your house is shaded from the sun, it may be possible for it to remain several degrees cooler inside during the hottest times of the day.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Poor insulation is one of the most common reasons that homeowners have high cooling costs. If your home is several years old, consider upgrading your insulation to help make your home more energy efficient. Start in the attic by adding high quality insulation that will keep hot air out. For even greater cost savings, consider having spray foam insulation installed in the exterior walls of your home. Spray foam insulation is typically quite affordable when you consider the fact that it will last for many years and will help keep your cooling bills a bit lower every summer.