Keep Your Historic Home Cool This Summer
Maryland’s weather can be extreme, and May has had some extreme cold and hot days so far. This week especially reminds us that the summer heat is starting to officially set in. Many homeowners, especially those who live in historic homes, are looking for ways to stay cool without paying their entire paycheck to the utility company. Here are some low-cost ways to turn your historic house into a cool, energy efficient, and relaxing space.
Provide Some Shade
Keep your blinds down, window shutters closed, and curtains drawn! The California Energy Commissions estimates that 40% of heat buildup in homes comes via the windows. If you still want to enjoy the breeze from outside, keep the window open but have the blinds down or curtains drawn. That way to extra heat stays out but you still get the refreshing wind.
If your house is just as hot as it is outside, try a little ventilation at night or when the temperature drops below 77. A window fan can help. The trick is to face the blades outside to suck warm air out of the house and pull cooler air in. Keeping a fan running on medium or low is also good to keep air flow going throughout the house.
Create Some Attic Air Flow
If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it can hold up to 10-30% more heat. Generally speaking, you need a ratio of 1:300, where for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, you need 1 square foot of attic ventilation. That said, air resistance and interference (such as vent grates) reduce the area of true ventilation. In other words, the entire vent opening doesn’t count as vented space. If you have any questions about your home’s ventilation, contact Irvine Construction. We can help determine if your home is properly ventilated or what options you have to keep your home cool.
Update Your Windows
Historic homes are known to have uninsulated glass, allowing more heat to be retained and emitted into the home. And depending on the window’s age, it may not fit snuggly, leaking air around every sill, frame, and molding. The best and most cost-effective plan would be to perform a full replacement rather than a repair of these old glass windows. The finished product is now a new modern window that looks historically correct and provides the needed energy efficiency.
Want to stay cool this summer? Contact Irvine Construction for quotes and plans about keeping your historic home cool this summer and beat the Maryland heat!