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Great, Green Ways To Cool Your Home

Ways To Cool Your Home No matter where you live, you'll want your living spaces to be a comfortable temperature without increasing your energy bills. This is particularly true in the warmer months, which is why we've compiled a list of some simple eco-friendly strategies to help you stay cool while cutting your air conditioning (AC) costs.

When you begin to build your new home, make sure that you talk with your builder about how he can use energy-efficient materials and strategies so you can easily control the indoor temperature in your new home. Here are some helpful tips:
  • You can help keep the heat out of your home by using thick or insulated walls.
  • Before they excavators come, be sure to keep as many trees as possible around your home, because the offer natural protection from the sun.
  • Look for a house plan that has deep eaves and lots of window awnings. These features are not only appealing, but also very useful in keeping conductive heat out of your home.
  • Make sure your roof is heavily insulated and highly reflective since it is the area most affected by direct sunlight.
  • Have your builder install a radiant barrier to help deflect heat.
  • On the sunny side of your home, consider installing insulated window shades or shutter. By simply closing your windows and shades in the morning and opening them at night when it cools saves energy.
  • Keep the use of heat generating appliances like microwaves, dishwashers, ovens and dryers to a minimum.
  • Try to install ceiling fans wherever possible, especially in rooms that have high ceilings. Be sure to select only ENERGY STARH® approved fans, since they are about 20% more efficient than the average fan.

Design Tip
You can utilize Mother Nature to your advantage by learning various weather patterns. For example, many coastal areas have a predictable onshore sea breeze. You can funnel that breeze into your house by opening your windows and it will flush heat out of it on the other side. Try planting a hedge or a row of trees in a strategic place to help funnel cooling winds into your house. In dry climates they tend to have distinct temperature drops at night. You can take advantage of this by opening your lowest windows and your highest, creating a convection "chimney effect" that sucks cool air into the lower part of your house from the outdoors while heat escapes up and out through the top floor.