Energy Efficiency for the Summer

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Energy Efficiency for the Summer

As interior designers, we know the importance of laying a good, efficient foundation for your home. After all, beauty isn’t skin deep, it comes from the inside. Why bother making a house pretty if there are underlying problems that will stick-out like a sore thumb till corrected? Here are tips to keep you cool this summer!

Top ways we’ve found to increase efficiency are insulation, windows, and doors. For insulation, think of your crawl space, basement, attic, fireplace, and even your walls. Are they drafty? It might sound silly, but do you feel “sheltered” from the heat in the summer? Insulation creates a barrier between your home and the outside that helps maintain indoor temperature. The better insulated your home, the less you will spend on “cooling the outdoors.”

Windows and doors are another great way to improve efficiency. Everyone knows older homes typically benefit from new fenestration, but most people are surprised to find homes that aren’t so old might benefit from simple interventions.

If you are in the market for new windows and doors, look for Energy Star certified, Low-E coated windows and high R-value doors. If you simply want to improve on the performance of what you already have, consider adding new caulking and weatherstripping to improve the seal.

And if you are experiencing hotter days in the summer from south facing windows, you would be surprised by how good window glazing are at helping control indoor air temps. Also consider adding interior window treatments like roll down blinds and/or curtains. Of course, don’t forget the tips of landscapers and landscape architects—plant living greenery to block the hot summer sun. Be sure to check with your Home Owners Association regulations regarding rules about landscaping. With a little intentionality, you can prevent solar heat gain in the summer.

The best thing about these energy tips is they will improve the performance of your home year round! If you have an older home, we always recommend an energy audit to assess ways in which your home could become more efficient. New homes benefit from audits as well! Stay cool Nashville!                            
—By Kate Gray Fudim  

Editor’s Note: Kate Gray Fudim is an interior designer with Beth Haley Design. Kate has a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design with an emphasis in sustainable design. Beth Haley Design, an urban interior design firm, focuses on remodeling and revitalizing established homes, as well as creating stimulating, functional, sustainable spaces in new homes.. E-mail your questions to her at ngregg@ngregg.com or visit www.bethhaleydesign.com.

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