When you think about cooling your home during the summer, air conditioning probably comes to mind. However, there are a number of other energy-efficient ways to help cool your home. Here are five ways to help cool your home this summer while controlling your energy and money spend.
Insulation – often times, we think about insulation being helpful in the winter, keeping the heat inside. But one of the best features of insulation is that is restricts the flow of heat, both coming in and going out. Sufficient insulation helps prevent summer heat from entering your home, making your air conditioning unit not have to work as hard.
Windows – did you know that heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use? Energy-efficient windows can be a big help in reducing the energy used to cool your house. If you need to upgrade windows but are concerned about your budget, consider storm windows instead. Storm windows are less expensive than new, energy-efficient windows, but still help insulate your home.
Daylighting – depending on the direction your windows are facing, using the light of the sun can help light your home without the extra heat of lamps and lighting fixtures. North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted extra summer heat.
Shading – just the opposite of daylighting, shading is blocking out unwanted heat from the sun with window treatments. East- and west-facing windows provide a good amount of daylight in the morning and evening but may cause glare and admit a lot of heat during the summer when it is usually not wanted. Using shades for windows facing these directions will help insulate your home and keep it cool.
Ventilation – another way to help cool your home is by using natural ventilation. Also dependent on the direction your windows are facing, the wind will naturally cool your home as it blows in and out. This is due to the chimney effect, which happens when cool air enters a home through the basement or first floor, absorbs the heat, and exits through windows on an upper floor. This creates a vacuum which continues to pull more air into the home and pushing heat out.
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