Finding shade

Posted on Jul 10 2022 in LaGrange County REMC
Jake Taylor
Energy Advisor

By Jake Taylor

It’s human nature to find a cool, comfortable place to relax when the summer temperatures are blazing hot, and the humidity is high enough to curl even the straightest of hair. We can use shade to our advantage to prevent things like sunburns or heat stroke. 

This concept also works on the exterior (sunburn) and interior (heat stroke) of your home. This is commonly referred to as passive solar design and can have tremendous effects on the cost of operation of your heating ventilation and air conditioning system.

The exterior of your home can be shaded using a variety of trees. Proper placement would depend on the orientation of the home (exposure to the sun), distances from utility power lines, enough yard to allow for tree growth, and local ordinances. If trees are not viable or you are looking for more architectural solutions then window awnings, deeper soffits, window glazing treatments (tinting), or functional shutters may also serve you well. Lighter colors for roofing materials and siding reflect more sunlight, reducing the amount of solar energy absorbed by the structure.

To prevent solar heat gain on the interior of your home (during the summer months) you can add tinting to the windows or install blinds, shades, or curtains to prevent the sun from having a major impact on your interior comfort. Similarly, (during the winter months) you could open the shades, blinds, and curtains to allow the sun’s radiant energy to heat up a space … your pets will love it.

If you have questions about the best approach for your home, please contact me.