With extreme heat temperatures becoming the norm in many parts of the United States, it’s time to take a better look at how the hot and humid climate can negatively impact your home’s ambient temperatures.
Whether you’re planning on building your perfect home from scratch or you want to make foundational changes to your current structure, you’ll need to optimize the warm and humid climate architecture and its unique attributes.
Sure, you can always take the easiest route, which is blasting your air conditioning to the max. However, you’ll be hiking your energy bills for minimal cooling effects. Yet, if you know nothing about design for hot and humid climates, then no worries. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for the full breakdown of our home design tips that will have you in awe of how cool your home can be without the terrifyingly expensive energy bill attached.
Combating Humid Climate 101: Use A/C the Right Way
Before starting our deep dive into house design for hot climates, let’s start with the basics.
Of course, having a faulty air conditioner will not suffice to keep you cool this summer. However, this does not imply that you must get rid of all of your outdated air conditioners. A smart thermostat or a smart AC controller that works with mini-split, window, and portable air conditioners may make your current equipment smart.
When you live in a hot and humid environment, you need more than just temperature control. You can achieve optimum humidity levels with the assistance of a smart thermostat or a smart AC controller. They may learn your preferences and automatically change the settings. You may also plan ahead of time for daily or weekly routines, which can help you save money on your energy costs.
If you despise returning home to a hot house after a long day at work, these smart gadgets can help. You may use your smartphone to turn on your air conditioning an hour before you arrive, or you can establish a schedule or location-based settings, and it will switch on at the designated time. Coming home to a hot, humid house is no longer an option.
Keep Track of the Sun
It would help to consider the angles at which the sun will strike your home while constructing it. In the morning, the east-facing side gets direct sunshine. This is the best orientation for your kitchen since it will benefit from the early morning light and cooler in the afternoon.
The west-facing side gets sunlight at a lower angle, allowing it to enter the windows in the middle of the day. To guard against heat gain and excessive glare, you’ll need to shade this part of your house.
Because the south side of the house gets a lot of light for most of the day, avoid constructing bedrooms on the south or south-west side because they will overheat in the summer. It would be best to use the north-facing side for the major living areas, such as bedrooms. Install windows on the northern side since much of the light coming from there is dispersed.
Use UV-Deflecting Film or Glass
It’s nice to wake up to gentle light beams from the windows, but the scorching afternoon sun may quickly raise the temperature of your house.
To counteract this, you may use UV deflecting windows with low e-coating to keep the sun from heating your home. The low e-coating absorbs infrared and UV radiation while allowing visible light to pass through. You may open the blinds to allow the sun in without having to worry about heat gain or dangerous solar radiation harming your home.
If replacing the glass isn’t an option, you may use a UV-protective film to cover your current windows. It allows in 90% of visible light while blocking UV radiation.
Pick the Right Building Materials
Protecting against heat and moisture should be your first concern when building a house in a hot, humid environment to prevent mold development. The correct materials make all the difference; they improve comfort, reduce the strain on your cooling equipment, and help you save money on electricity.
To reduce heat gain, use a roofing material with a high solar reflectance when constructing a home. To prevent moisture from seeping in via the ground, install vapor barriers beneath the home. To prevent excessive humidity and to remove excess moisture, use house wraps.
Opt For Lighter-Colored Paints
Are you thinking about how the colors you choose will affect the warmth of your home if you’re constructing a new house or repainting?
Because they absorb more energy from the environment, darker hues absorb more heat. You should use white, beige, light blue, or pink colors to keep your home cool in the searing heat. These hues not only reflect light but also provide the impression of greater space in your house.
Bring In Houseplants That Absorb Humidity
You may believe that houseplants serve to enhance humidity. The majority of them do; nevertheless, some plants take too much water.
Plants that enjoy wetness, such as palms, ferns, orchids, and peace lilies, serve natural dehumidifiers. Their lush, bushy foliage has a reputation for collecting moisture from the atmosphere.
Apart from this, houseplants purify the air in your home naturally and provide ambiance. Isn’t this the ideal combination?
Make Ventilation a Priority
If you want to chill your home adequately, you’ll need to boost the ventilation. Air in your house that is stale and polluted may make you feel clammy and uneasy.
You may install exhaust fans in high-moisture locations like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Choose large windows and open them early in the morning and late at night to allow fresh air in. In addition, put vents in your attic to allow air to move upward. Warm air rises from your house and exits the vents while cool air travels through them.
Pick Insulation Tailored for Hot Climates
It’s important to select the right kind of insulation for your house. For hot regions, not all insulation is appropriate. Cellulose insulation, for example, has a proclivity for absorbing moisture, which may result in mold development. You may avoid moisture and mold damage with the use of foam board and fiberglass.
Choose radiant and reflective insulation to reduce heat gain since it works by reflecting heat away and is best suited for warm regions. It’s often used on attic ceilings to prevent heat transmission from the roof to other parts of the house.
Add Insulating Wall Materials
Homes in hot and humid regions should employ materials different from the normal construction materials we are familiar with for their walls. The insulation and heat transmission properties of the materials used for walls make all the difference between a regular house and one built specifically for hot regions where the sun shines all year brilliantly.
You may pick from a variety of exterior house siding ideas to improve the look of your home’s walls. The materials used for the walls must have a high R-value while having a low conductivity. You may be able to use outside siding. The provided texture will also offer your house’s front view a more appealing appearance.
There are many building materials for warm and humid climates on the market, so you won’t have trouble picking the right ones for your needs.
Make Use of Dehumidifiers and Fans
Ceiling fans should be your first option if you’re searching for a cost-effective method to cool down your home. It aids with the circulation of cool air around your house.
You may even use a ceiling fan in combination with your air conditioner. It not only improves your comfort, but it also helps you save money on your energy costs. With a ceiling fan, you can raise the thermostat setting to about 4°F, which won’t impact your comfort level.
The problem with high degrees of humidity is the perfect environment provided for mold, mildew, and dust mites. A dehumidifier can reduce the high moisture levels and combat the negative effects of high humidity.
But, if you’re still in the market for the best neighborhood to live or invest in, you’ll want to do some extra research on the humidity levels.
Close Your Blinds
Letting the sun in does not help keep your home cool. You can close your blinds, starting from later in the morning until sundown. This simple act can keep a room 10-15 degrees cooler.
You can purchase blackout shades, use window tint film on your windows (easy to install), or good blinds. If covering your windows during the day makes it too dark, you can lower the top of your shades 6″ from the top of the window to let light in but not the heat.
If you can’t shade the outside of a window, consider insulating blinds. These can keep the heat from penetrating as much into the house.
Ready to Cool Your Home Down?
Introducing new home design tricks to fight against the humid climate shouldn’t cost you a ton of money.
We hope that our guide has shed some light on the different ways you can keep your home temperature at comfortable levels without too much trouble. And, if you liked our article, we’re pleased to tell you that there’s more where that came from.
You can check out our home and lifestyle sections for all the additional tips and tricks you could need.