While your HVAC system is going to be your first line of defense against high temperatures, constantly using your AC during the hottest months of the year will be expensive. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to keep the sun-facing sides of your home cool and comfortable.
Install Heat-Reflecting Film
When the sun hits your windows, the temperature inside your home is going to skyrocket. That is why many experts suggest that homeowners install heat-reflecting film on all windows that face the sun. That film can usually be installed in a matter of minutes with nothing more than a squeegee and some soapy water. You can also install high-efficiency windows, but that is going to be a much bigger investment.
Plant Bushes and Trees
If you have a green thumb, then you might want to plant some trees or taller bushes along the side of your home. Those plants are going to give you an extra layer of protection against the sun, and many species will grow multiple feet in a year. Roses, privets, and bamboo are all great options for privacy and shade. Once the roots have been established, those plants require very little water, and they should thrive in direct sunlight.
Install a Patio
Patio cover kits are more affordable than ever, and that type of structure is going to be invaluable if you live in a hot climate. Wood patio covers are very popular, but many people now prefer aluminum. Aluminum can be painted and stained in a wide variety of colors, and that material is going to last for decades with the proper maintenance. Before you build your patio, you should check the local laws to see if a permit is needed. Most standalone patios don’t require permits, but you might need to have the structure inspected once it has been built.
Improve the Insulation in the Attic
At least once or twice a year, you should head into your attic to check the insulation. Over time, insulation can become matted, and that will impact your home’s efficiency. If the insulation is damaged in any way, then new batts or rolls need to be added. You can also blow in a layer of cellulose insulation if it is difficult to move around your attic.
In addition to these few tips, you should make sure that you use heavy drapes with reflective backing as well. That fabric will greatly improve your home’s insulation and minimize UV damage.
Anica Oaks, the author of this post, is a freelance writer and web enthusiast.