How shade can lower your electric bill

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PHOENIX -- When it comes to lowering your electric bill and extending the life of your furniture, carpets and windows, home expert Rosie Romero says there's one word you need to remember -- shade.

"If we're looking at saving money on our electric bill, we've got to think shade," he said.

The key to cutting your AC bill is cutting direct sunlight on your home any way you can.

"Eighty percent of your air-conditioning bill is you're paying to cool your windows," Romero explained. "Anything you can do to take the sun off your windows, you're going to be saving money."

Romero suggests investing in sunscreens that completely cover the entire window frame so that the frame doesn't radiate heat into the house.

It's important to make sure there's a gap between the screen and the glass. That gives you an air barrier between the sunscreen and the first layer of glass.

While the screens are an initial investment, Romero says they're well worth it and will pay for themselves before the second summer is over.

Natural shade can also be extremely helpful.

"There's nothing better than a tree to shade the house," he said.

The landscaping not only saves you money in the long run, it also increases the value of your home.