At any Lowe's or hardware store, you can purchase tinted window film to help prevent sun from entering into your house and running the air conditioner constantly OR you can do as we have and save money.
Tape cut sheets of waxed paper that you have custom cut to fit all of your different sized windows. You will find that waxed paper blocks the sun's heat from coming into the room BUT plenty of light is still coming through from the sun itself. A roll of waxed paper is more "cost wise" in my book than having to purchase window tinting film that is hard to install if not impossible to work with.
We live in a Mobile Home that sits in full sun all day, I crack or open the windows on the side of the house that doesn't get much sun and turn the heat pumps fan only on. This way air is pulled in from the outside and circulates the air with in the house keeping us cool. Moving air keeps you cooler than stagnant non- circulating air does AND this works even if there is no wind at all outside! It does not cost a lot to run the fan only on your unit, perhaps only pennies a day.
Source: My being extremely frugal and a self taught tightwad created this for us.
By Paula Jo from Mebane, NC
Doesn't the wax melt and stick to the windows? (06/02/2008)
I am going to give that idea a try, even those solar panels that you can get from Carol Wright gifts, you do get a cooler room but you can't see much outside, and it does make the house pretty dark. So I am going to try this waxed paper thing, as long as, as the lady says, the wax doesn't melt onto my window. (06/02/2008)
Another good cool-shade producer is those emergency blankets that look like foil. They reflect the sun and keep the inside of your house cool (though they don't let in light). I use these with suction cups with clips and clip them on the east window at night so when the sun comes up my daughter's room doesn't get too hot. In the afternoon I move it to my west window. (06/02/2008)
I too am in NC, mobile home and full sun. I tinted all the windows in my home in FL. I'm trying the wax paper tomorrow. Also that "Fan Only", thanks ever so much for sharing. (06/02/2008)
I love that tip and I'm going to try it. Thanks. (06/03/2008)
We use aluminum foil. Place the shiny side out and put a piece or two of scotch tape on it. The sun will hit the shiny side and reflect it back and keep it cool and (a little) darker inside. (06/03/2008)
Won't the wax melt onto the window if it is really hot outside? (06/09/2008)
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