Designing a Home to Combat the Texas Heat


The summer heat in Texas can be downright brutal. If you want to keep cool and not spend a lot to keep your air conditioner running, there are some things you'll want to do for your home as quickly as possible.

1. Create Shade Around Your House

The difference shade can make on a house is between 10 and 15 degrees, Fahrenheit, cooler. You can use awnings on the outside of your windows, trees around the home, or you can make a pergola around the perimeter of your home. This form of shade helps to cool the indoor air significantly when the windows in the home are allowed to be left open. However, if it's brutally hot, shade on the outside of the home while the windows remain closed. You can find other innovative ways to create shade around your home. It doesn't matter how you do it.

2. Change Out Your Windows

When the sun hits your home's windows, the glass heats up by radiant heating, but this heats up the interior of your home significantly. Energy-efficient windows help prevent heat-loss in the winter and prevent heat from coming into the home during the summer. Homes that have energy-efficient windows save money year-round with heating and cooling costs. Also, you can enjoy natural light throughout the day without suffering the effects of the windows heating up from the zinc coating that helps to reflect the sun's rays.

3. Install a Cool Roof

Cool roofs can make a standard roof cooler by 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what that can do for your home. Homes that have cool roofs stay substantially cooler during the day. Cool roofs also help to cool the air around the home, which lessens the urban heat island effect. This, indirectly, helps the air to feel cooler around the home.

4. Use Fans Where Possible

Fans don't cool down the air, but they can help the air feel cooler by eight degrees Fahrenheit when you're directly underneath one. It's not wise to use fans in rooms that you're not in for this reason, but they can help you to conserve on your air conditioning efforts because you can increase the thermostat by eight degrees. Evaporative cooling isn't that effective in humid areas so it's best to avoid this route, but using an air conditioner in conjunction with the rest of these tips will keep your home cool. You should get HVAC maintenance twice a year to keep your HVAC system running at optimal levels.

5. Insulation

Insulation is important for every home. Like energy-efficient windows, it helps to prevent heat from coming into the home during the summer and heat from leaking out during the winter. Most homes need an average of at least a 30 for R-value. The better insulated your home is the cooler your home will be in the summer and warmer in the winter.

6. The Exterior of the Home

Once you have the interior of your home cooled down, it's time to think about how to cool down the exterior of your home. Again, shade is a good idea, but you should incorporate water in your backyard to help keep it cool. Water doesn't heat up as quickly as sand, wood decks or cement, so the back yard will stay cooler naturally with water. Pool builders in Houston can help with creating the perfect cool backyard. You can also use fountains, a waterfall or a pond, but it won't have the same effect that a pool would have. Misters are also a good option for cooling the exterior of your home. Use these around a pergola for efficient cooling.

You don't want to just rely on your air conditioner to cool down your home because it will end up costing too much by summer's end. Many of the tips mentioned above are useful in reducing heating costs during the winter as well.

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