Summer has always historically been a warmer time of the year, but this summer has brought with it more extreme heat in many parts of the the United States and surrounding areas. Keeping your home cooler is important for creating a comfortable space for you and your family to stay protected from the extreme heat, but you don't want to have to run your air conditioner continually to keep it cool enough. Here are some recommendations you can make to your home to keep it cooler this summer and for upcoming summer seasons.
Update Your Home's Windows
The windows installed on your home help control the energy efficiency of your home, as a large part of your home's heating and cooling loss occurs through its older and improperly insulated windows. Updating your home's windows through a place like Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc. can reduce your energy bills by up to 15 percent each year. Any small improvements to older windows can help, as you can fill any smaller width cracks, gaps, or joints around your windows to prevent heat from entering and cool air from escaping. You can also install updated weatherstripping to fill the gaps around the edges of moveable window panes.
Replacement of your windows for new windows and frames made of vinyl, fiberglass, or other durable material combination and long-lasting energy efficient materials can improve your home's energy efficiency. Double-paned windows filled with argon or krypton gas to lower the transfer of heat through the windows. You can also get new windows installed with a low-emissivity metallic coating, which allows the window to reflect heat instead of absorb it into your home.
Install Window Treatments
Window treatments not only add an attractive appearance to the interior of your home they help regulate the temperature of your home. When you want to keep your home's interior cooler, preventing the outdoor heat from entering your home can be accomplished by reducing the amount of the sun's light entering. Install curtains, drapes, or window blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight during the day. This should include any windows that face south, west, and east.
The curtains and blinds you install should have white or light-colored backing to reflect the sun's rays back out the window. Black and darker-colored linings can absorb sunlight and heat up your home's interior. If you open your home's windows at night to let in cool air, close them in the morning when the temperature begins to rise and close the window blinds or curtains against the sun when it shines in the window.
You can also install window awnings on the exterior of your home to shade the windows from the sun's rays during summer. Awnings installed on south and west-facing windows are reported to reduce solar heat gain in your home by up to 77 percent. The angle of your window awnings block the sun from shining into your home during summer when the sun sits higher in the sky.
Plant Shading Yard Vegetation
Plants and shade trees growing around the exterior of your home can help keep your home cooler. Shade trees that block the sun from falling upon the exterior of your home, including its roof, can keep the interior temperature from rising as much. Be sure to plant shade trees on the southern and western-facing windows and walls of your home. But plant the trees spaced away far enough from your home so their shadow falls directly on your home's walls and roof and their roots do not grow into your home's foundation to cause damage.
Vegetation providing shade to paved areas and other heat-absorbing materials around the outside of your home can also help cool the air to lower the temperature of these areas to keep your home's interior cooler as a result. Planting vine plants to grow up the exterior of your home can help the heat absorption of the exterior wall and keep your home's interior cooler.
Use these three tips to help keep your home cooler each summer.