Keeping your home more energy efficient, cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter is more than just running your home heating and cooling system as much as possible. Installing the right type of windows, planting the appropriate trees in your yard, and hanging appropriate curtains can all help improve your home's energy efficiency and make your home more comfortable. Here are three tips to help you accomplish this.
Install Energy Efficient Windows
Windows produced today, at places like Statewide Energy Solutions, are often created to keep your home's interior temperature low during the summer and prevent any heat loss during winter. There are many types of windows to choose from, each made with different frame materials and glass inserts.
Some windows are created with two or more layers of glass, and the gap between the panes can be filled with argon or krypton to help reduce heat flow. You can have other glasses coated with a tint or other low-emissivity treatment. These coatings and treatments help prevent the sun's solar radiation from being absorbed into the window and into your home. This can lower your home's energy loss by 30 to 50 percent.
Energy efficient windows are also installed with framing materials that reduce heat transfer and make the windows virtually maintenance free. Such framing materials includes vinyl or PVC, wood composite, and insulated fiberglass frames.
Plant Shade Trees
You can reduce your home's heating and cooling bills by up to 40 percent by planting trees and other vegetation in certain places around the exterior of your home. Deciduous trees that grow leaves in the summer and shed them in the winter help cool your home in the summer by the shade they provide. Then, when they lose their leaves in the winter, they allow sunlight to fall upon your home and into your windows so you can benefit from the sun's solar heat gain and keep your home warmer.
Planting trees at the appropriate distance from your home can help you get the most benefit from their shadow during the day to cool your home in summer. It is recommended to plant trees within 40 feet of the south side of your home to shade your home from mid-afternoon sun. Then, trees positioned within 60 feet of the west side of your house will shade your home from late afternoon and evening sun as it sets on the horizon. Planting trees too closely can cause damage to your roof from the tree branches and damage to your foundation and basement walls from the tree's root system. Be sure to trim the lower branches of these trees so the trees don't block the view of your property past the trees.
You can also plant trees around any paved areas, such as asphalt and concrete to shade them and help lower the outside summer temperature, which can have a direct effect on the temperature inside your house. Shading dark paved areas can help cool the outside air and your home's interior, especially as dark surfaces can trap heat in and heat the air well after the sun has set.
Hang Window Curtains
Hanging curtains inside your home can make your interior attractive and also make your home more energy efficient. In fact, properly hung curtains in your home can reduce your heat loss by up to 25 percent during the winter. Then, hanging curtains during summer that you can close to block out incoming sunlight can keep your home's interior more cool and cause your air conditioner to work less.
Hanging curtains made of a double layer of fabric can help insulate your home better than a single layer of fabric, and curtains backed with a light-colored fabric will reflect out more light and keep your home cooler in the summer. Install a cornice at the top of your curtains and cover the gap above your curtain rod to stop heat from rising into your home from the window during summer. If you want to help keep out cold drafts from your window, make sure your curtains hang all the way to the window sill or floor to block any cold drafts that flow downward from your window.
Use these tips and recommendations to help keep your home more energy efficient.