A room that's comfortable in moderate weather may become an oven in the summer. Usually, the hottest room in the house is the one with the most windows. Large windows and patio doors allow the most extra heat into the home. Use a number of strategies to reduce heat gain and claim your home's hottest room for year-round enjoyment. The right energy-saving investments improve your home decor and pay for themselves in money saved on both heating and cooling costs.
Things You'll Need
- Window shades
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Replace the room's shades with insulated shades such as Roman shades or honeycomb shades. Roman shades seal at the top. The Florida State University Extension website suggests using Velcro or magnetic strips on the edges of the shades to affix them to the window frame for improved insulation. Add insulated blinds to the patio door. Keeping heat from coming through the windows will keep the room cooler.
Add thick, dark drapes. Keep them closed on hot days. Dark colors absorb more heat than light ones and keep the room cooler. Insulated drapes also conserve heat in the winter.
Use solar screening window shades to reduce heat if you prefer to keep the window's view. These screening shades allow the members of the household to enjoy the shaded room and still view the garden or watch the children playing outside. They reduce glare and add privacy to the room without blocking the view of the yard.
Remove all the incandescent light bulbs in the hot room and replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends Energy Star-rated CFLs for the home. These bulbs burn cool, so using them doesn't add heat to the room. They also conserve energy and money.
Tips & Warnings
- Plant sun-tolerant trees and shrubs on the south and east side of the home to provide shade and increase insulation. Wide, sturdy trees and bushes also help insulate the home in the winter and serve as a wind break.
- Buy shades for any skylights in the room.
- Add awnings to the home's exterior to shade the windows.
- Add shutters.
- Upgrade patio doors to dual-pane glass.
- Put interior decorative hangings (tapestries) on the wall on the sunny side for more insulation.
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