Keeping your home cool can be a challenge, especially here in the South where 90+ degree temperatures become the norm for months on end. With that being said, it seems that every home has that one room where temperatures sit five to ten degrees warmer than the rest of the house. To deal with this dilemma, many homeowners simply close off the overly heated room; however, this creates a situation where you’re left with unusable space four to five months out of the year. Sure, it’s always possible to install a window air conditioner, but such appliances are generally less-than-pleasing to the eye and are often expensive to run.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a lasting solution, consider the following possibilities.
UTILIZE LANDSCAPING. While great for curb appeal and overall home value, the right landscaping can be extremely effective when attempting to cool and shade your home. Consider using dense-canopied trees on the southern portion of your property and deflect the afternoon sun with tall shrubs, planted trelliswork, and short trees to the west.
INSTALL AWNINGS. While landscaping can go a long way towards cooling your surroundings, it’s important to remember that trees and shrubs take a long time to mature. If money is no object, you’re probably in a better position to purchase plants that are already on their way to being fully mature; however, if your landscaping is still in its infancy, consider using awnings instead. Sure, they may be an acquired taste for many homeowners, but their effectiveness is generally unquestioned. When placed over a west-facing window, awnings can reduce heat penetration by as much as 77%.
WINDOW TINTING. Much like the addition of window tint in a car, consider applying a heat-control film to your home’s windows. This film, which is made up of multiple UV-blocking layers, limits the amount of sunshine which can heat up your room and is extremely easy to apply.
FANS. Luckily, most southern homes come pre-equipped with ceiling fans in their main rooms; however, for areas without similar air circulation features—especially those on upper floors and in sunny rooms— consider situating standing fans that will blow out toward open windows. For parts of the home situated in the shade and generally on lower floors, orient fans to blow in toward the room. In addition, set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise during the summer months so that cool air gets drawn up from the floor.
In the end, temperature differences in your house can be a pain, which makes it that much more important to consider the layout of the HVAC system when purchasing or building a home. If you’d like some advice or are even considering revamping your current system, please feel free to give me a call.
Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698