When the heat of summer strikes, most people are willing to do anything to keep cool. Unfortunately, this can often lead to undue stress when the energy bill rolls around. Luckily, it is possible to have your comfort and not pay for it too. This article will explore three strategies for cooling your home without resorting the air conditioner.
Invest in some strategically placed awnings.
Direct sunlight is the prime contributing factor to heat gain inside your house. And nothing is as bad as windows about letting the sun's heat in. This is especially true of west-facing windows, which are only exposed to more and more sunlight as the day wears on.
Awnings are one of the most effective ways to mitigate heat gain through windows. Simply by presenting an additional barrier to the sun's rays, they can reduce the heat gain from south-facing windows by up to 65 percent, and that from west-facing windows as much as a whopping 77 percent.
That said, it's important to strategize when opting for window awnings. Try to select a lighter color, as this will reflect--rather than absorb--the sun's heat. Likewise, plan to vary the length of the awnings of different sides of your house. As alluded to above, southern and western exposures are the most vulnerable. Hence, lower awnings will offer an additional measure of protection on those windows.
Plan for the future--plant more trees.
While not as immediate a solution as awnings, shade trees offer one of the most effective long-term solutions for unwanted solar heating. In addition, they can do wonders to increase your curb appeal, and thereby increase the value of your home in years to come. Yet to maximize the cooling power, it's important to consider the type of tree you plant.
Dense, broad-limbed trees such as northern red oaks are your best bet. These should be concentrated toward the southern side of your home. That's because early afternoon sunlight falls along this side from a relatively high angle. The western side, where the sunlight falls at a much lower angle in the late afternoon, will benefit more from small trees and large shrubs.
Be smart about how you place your fans.
Fans always helps to cool you down when you're sitting right in front of it. But if you want it to contribute to a cooler home overall, you've got to be crafty about where they go. To begin with, fans should always point out the window in sunny rooms, so as to redirect the hot air. Likewise, shady rooms will benefit more from fans placed to draw air in from outside, thus promoting circulation. For more information, contact companies like Dale's Heating & Appliance.