Nothing is nicer than a cool house on a hot summer day. Yet you may not be feeling quite so good when those enormous energy bills start pouring in. If you would like to learn more about some electricity-free ways to promote a cooler home, read on. This article will present three techniques to reliably beat not only the heat, but the energy bill as well.
Plant strategic shade trees.
Trees are the first line of defense when it comes to cooling a home. By absorbing solar energy and keeping direct sunlight off of your home, a well-placed tree can work wonders. Not only that, but trees help to increase curb appeal, meaning they're a valuable investment should you decide to sell your home down the line.
For maximum cooling power, consider planting broad, dense trees like northern red oaks along the south-facing side of the house. This is where the brunt of sunlight falls as the day goes on. Likewise, use smaller trees and shrubs to buffer the western side of your home from late afternoon rays.
Install awnings over sun-vulnerable windows.
Though shade trees may be the ideal solution, the fact is they can take many years of growth to become effective. Luckily, awnings are a quick way to achieve the same result. When properly sized and installed, an awning can reduce the amount of heat let in through a window by as much as 77 percent on east- and west-facing windows. Not only that, but light-colored awnings actually reflect sunlight away from your home.
Just be sure to strategize appropriately when choosing your awnings. In general, awnings on east and west facing windows should come down farther than those on the south side of your house. That's because the sun moves across the south face at a much higher angle. East and west facing windows, on the other hand, are subject to low angles during sunrise and sunset, respectively.
Utilize well-placed fans.
As most people are aware, fans are immensely helpful for circulating air. But unless they're placed strategically, that circulation may not do much to help cool your home. For instance, orient fans so that they redirect hot air out of windows located on the sunny side of your home.
On the other hand, fans in shady rooms should be positioned so as to blow air in through the window. This will promote cooler air from outside to circulate through the room.
Finally, be aware that ceiling fans usually have a switch that allows you to change the direction of rotation. During the summer, they should be set to rotate in a counterclockwise direction. As a result, they will draw cooler air upward from below. A clockwise rotation, on the other hand, will cause them to blow hot air down into the room from the ceiling.
For more information, contact a professional heating and cooling business, like Shideler Electric, Heating & Cooling.