This summer was a very good test of the changes I have made to reduce my energy usage. Although it was hot, it wasn't quite as bad as last year. The degree days show that it was well above average and slightly less than last year. I did make a few changes in addition to the changes I made earlier in the year that were detailed here.
It is so humid here during the summer that it's very rare that we ever open the windows. All of my windows are casement windows that have the bug screen on the inside. So the first change was to remove all of the screens and store them away until early Fall when we start to open the windows again. The reasoning behind this was all of the testing that's been done on solar air heaters using window screen as the absorber material. If it's that good of an absorber, I need to just get it out of the way and let the shade reflect as much light and heat back out as it can.