The sun gives us energy and is the driving force behind all life forms on our planet. Were it not the sun, the earth would have been nothing more than a barren and icy piece of rock lurking endlessly in the open space. However, although the sun is essential for our being, there is no denying that too much of sunshine and solar heat makes things difficult especially for people living in tropical regions during the summer months.
In order to keep temperatures bearable during the summer months, we make use of modern electronic devices such as air conditioners. However, this reckless use of air conditioning systems in our homes, offices and cars, increases our reliance on electricity and hence fossil fuels. Since a major share of the electricity we consume comes from traditional coal-fired power plants, the emissions associated with the same increase the overall temperature of our planet. Therefore, apart from paying hefty electricity bills during the summer months, we also increase global temperatures and hence the next summer season would be a little hotter than the present one.
One way to reduce electricity consumption and hence the use of electronic devices to cool the ambience is to reduce solar heat gain during the summer months. As you reduce the amount of heat that makes its way into your home, you tend to make conditions more bearable, without consuming electricity to regulate the temperature. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare your home for the summer season.
- Don’t allow direct sunlight to come into your home:
Sunlight brings with it a lot of solar heat that increases the temperature inside your home. Hence, by simply sharing the sun-facing windows in your house, you can easily reduce solar heat gain by up to 25% and hence reduce the cost of running your air conditioning system equally. While buying these window coverings make sure that you buy quality shades and blinds with lower shading coefficient.
- Light colored paints reduce heat gain:
Although during the winter season, you would want your home and its exterior walls to be painted in dark colors that can retain heat, the opposite of this should be preferred during the summer months. Light colored paints, such as white, reflect a major share of the light they receive back into the atmosphere. In this way, light colored exterior walls do not store as much heat as a dark colored wall and hence keeps interior temperature bearable and comfortable.
- Check insulation:
During the winter season, the one thing that you do not want is losing interior heat into the atmosphere, and during the summer months, you do not want excess atmosphere heat to make it to your home. Insulation is something that can help you in all seasons and hence you should not think twice before investing in insulation. However, while purchasing insulation, make sure that the material you choose has a higher R-Value, which is the measure of its effectiveness. The higher the R-Value, the better the material will be in reducing heat transfer.
- Make the most of natural ventilation:
Before the start of the summer season, make sure that the vents in your attic are not blocked and functioning properly. Hot air inside your home is lighter than cool air and hence the best way to get rid of all hot air is through the attic vents. With properly functioning attic vents, hot air will automatically exit your home and your air conditioning system will perform better without using excessive amounts of energy.