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Living in a warm climate means year-round fun in the sun, but it also requires some robust cooling technology. All that extra heat and humidity will seep into your home, causing your energy bills to soar. Keeping the heat out and the cool air in can be a daily struggle when you’re dealing with temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more. But you can shave some money off your energy bills and keep your home the perfect temperature all year long by investing in some key upgrades. Take control of the air in your home and invest in one of these home improvement projects today.
Cool Roofs: When you live in a warm climate, the roof of your home is bound to get hot sitting out in the sun all day. This extra heat will make its way into the top of your home, forcing your cooling system to work that much harder. But you can keep your home cool the natural way by installing what’s known as a cool roof. Typically made with highly reflective paint, a sheet covering or reflective tiles and shingles, a cool roof will reflect the sunlight beaming down on your home, so your roof will absorb less heat during the day. A normal roof can get as hot as 150 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, while a cool roof will stay around 50 degrees cooler under the same conditions.
Weatherization and Insulation: Insulation is just as important for homes in warm climates as it is for those up north. If you’re anxious to escape the heat and keep your home cool without spending a fortune, spend some time weatherizing and insulating your home. You can sign up for a weatherization audit in which a skilled professional will walk around your home and find areas where hot air can slip inside the foundation, dramatically raising the internal temperature of your home. Adding foam insulation to the attic, vents and other potential points of entry will reinforce the barrier between your home and the grueling heat outside, helping you keep your energy bills as low as possible.
Solar Swimming Pool Heaters: If you’re like many people living in a warm climate, you probably have a swimming pool on your property to help you stay cool. While heating your pool may not be a priority, you can use a solar swimming pool heater to keep your pool warm. They cost about as much as traditional gas and heat pump pool heaters, but they draw power directly from the sun, which saves you money on your energy bills. The pool water is pumped through a collector that uses energy from the sun to warm the water. But in warm climates, you can use the same technology to cool the water down. Turn on the heater at night and the water will pass through the collector, which cools the water before releasing it back into the pool. Let nature cool your pool for you without adding to your energy bills.
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Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors: When you’re battling the heat, hot air can always sneak inside your home’s windows and doors. To keep the heat at bay, consider investing in energy-efficient windows and doors that reinforce the barrier between your home and the outdoors. Windows with vinyl, fiberglass and wood frames tend to be the most effective when it comes to insulating your home. You should also look for windows with insulated glazing, or multiple panes of glass, that seal off your home from the outdoors. You can also install thick doors with a foam insulation core and a magnetic strip for a perfect seal.
Natural Shading: In addition to adding new features to your home, you can use your home’s landscaping to escape the heat. Planting shrubs and trees around your home and near windows will block the sunlight, cooling your home the natural way. You don’t have to block your view of your property, but you can make sure your home isn’t baking in the sun all day. Position these plants in the line of sunlight, so you don’t have giant pools of light beaming into your home. While new shrubs and trees can be costly, they add character to your property and they’ll help you save money in the long run.
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Evaporative Coolers: Perfect for those who live in low-humidity areas like the southeast, evaporative coolers use about 75 percent less energy than regular central air conditioners. The cooler brings hot air in from the outside and lets it pass over a series of water-saturated pads, evaporating the water, which sends a steady stream of cool air into your home. Traditional A/C units just circulate the same air around your home, while evaporative coolers bring in fresh air from the outdoors. Your home won’t feel as stuffy and you can enjoy the fresh air without having to endure the heat.
Moisture Control: Insulation also means moisture control. The less air coming into your property, the less you’ll have to worry about pools of water collecting around your home. When the hot air meets the cool air inside your home, water will start to appear around vents, doorways, ceilings and floors. You can use vapor diffusion retarders to reduce the amount of moisture transfer in the air, keeping your home dry and cool year-round. Made from foam, stainless steel and aluminum, vapor diffusion retarders are typically fastened to the joints in your home, blocking moisture at its source.
No one wants to sit around in the blazing heat all day or pay a fortune in cooling costs. If you want to make the most of your life in a warm climate, consider upgrading your home in more ways than one. You’ll keep your home cool and comfortable without draining your bank account or wasting precious energy on inefficient doors, windows and other insulation issues. Keep the heat at bay and invest in energy efficiency today!