New technology can be combined with strategies from the past to help keep our homes more energy-efficient and cooler in hot weather.
Before we had air-conditioning or even fans, architects and builders designed homes with keeping cool on hot days in mind. Doors between rooms and plenty of windows allowed for cross-ventilation to help cool homes inside. Ceilings were high because they knew that warm air rises. Wide porches were common; you see them on old southern plantation homes for a reason. Town planners would decide on a grid that would limit a hotter southern exposure. Trees were planted that would grow up to become good shade.
Time Brings Change
As time passed, we began to rely more on technology to keep us comfortable inside our homes. Now with rising energy costs and a concern for so much use of nonrenewable energy sources, it’s time to reflect back to some of the tricks our forefathers used for cooling our homes in the summer. And some of these tips also work to keep our homes more comfortable in the winter. Homebuilders such as Parker Built Homes can blend the old ways of building with new technology to build custom homes. Parker Built Homes use such innovations as insulated windows and building materials that support inside temperatures to make homes more energy efficient. But even if you don’t own a new home or plan on building one there are still some good common sense tips that can help you stay more comfortable in extreme weather.
Simple Tips For Keeping Your Home Cool
1. Use shade to block direct sunlight. Plant deciduous trees strategically. Add awnings and porch covers.
2. Replace old windows with newer insulated ones. Pay particular attention to replacing windows for cross-ventilation and in rooms the most lived-in.
3. Open windows during the night to let cool air in. Then keep windows closed during the day.
4. Install ceiling fans to keep air circulating.
5. Limit the use of hot appliances during the warmest part of the day.
6. Check seals around windows and doors.
7. Keep unnecessary lights turned off.
Maintaining Cooling Systems
1. Replace a/c units that are more than seven years old.
2. Clean a/c filters every two weeks.
3. Shade your unit with trees or a structured roof.
4. Close off rooms not used to keep the unit from working so hard.
5. Use a programmable thermostat.
Contact Parker Built Homes for information about our energy efficient house building methods.