It’s a real challenge these days, financially speaking, for a person who is a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree & half a decade of experience in my field, to still have to spend the better section of last year working from the bottom up to get to a good paying job, but now that I’m making more currency, I have to start paying off my student loans, too! It’s a vicious cycle of getting paid, & watching all of my hard earned money disappear into bills, savings & the occasional dinner with my husband. Needless to say, my finances are slim & I cannot consistently spend thousands of dollars on my home repairs. And so I decided that when the Spring was drawing to a close & summertime was waiting to turn our house into an oven, I was proactive about minimizing heat that could get in the house. The first stop was the substantial number of single-pane windows around my house. I installed shading on the glass itself, plus added heavy drapes that blocked out burning sunlight. Then I thoroughly cleaned our outdoor grill. Why would that impact the temperature inside? Well, if we’re using the grill to cook our meals, we are not heating the whole house from using the stove? Lastly, I applied weather-stripping to the doors & windows all around the house to make sure cool air wouldn’t leak out from somewhere. As far as stuff to do to the house itself, I felt I’ve accomplished enough to make sure the A/C system isn’t running any more than it has to. I’m already consistent about replacing the air filters & checking the ducts for too much dust and cat fur, so I assume the only way to improve my Heating, Ventilation, & A/C plan would be if I replaced it for a modern energy efficient system. And I have already said, that’s finances we do not have! What I’ve done to keep the house cool will have to suffice for the summer.