Has the summer heat have you cranking up your AC and your utility bill? If yes, then you may want to know of some other ways to break free of the heat instead of breaking the bank.

Awnings, drapes and curtains shades, blinds may seem like cosmetic additions to your home, but they serve another purpose, keeping you cool.

According to the Department of Energy, window coverings can lower the heat in your home up to 77 percent

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows, according to the DOE. For best results choose awnings in light colors that reflect more sunlight.

Consumerreports.org

For maximum effects shades must be drawn all day

If you have blinds at home, adjust the slats to control ventilation and well as light

If you would like to skip the home installations and pick up some drapes of curtains, you want to get ones with closed or open weaves.

Color is also a factor.

To reduce heat by 33 percent, you want to get medium colored draperies with white plastic backings.

These adjustments for your home can also be used to control heat loss during the colder months.