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Hot Summers, Cool Homes

Hot Summers, Cool Homes

With the average summer temperature in central North Carolina sitting just shy of 90 degrees, staying cool is a priority. For homeowners, that means finding the balance between comfort and efficiency–something that is more a necessity than a nice feature. As a local builder, Ken Harvey Homes is familiar with the hot (and humid!) summer conditions, constructing homes with materials meant for withstanding the weather. Homeowners also have many ways to maintain comfort while tapping into a few simple practices. 


New to North Carolina? The climate in this gorgeous state does vary from the mountains to the coast but the summer months tend to offer a similar climate no matter where you set your rocker. A typical day starts in the low 60s before rocketing to 90 degrees and beyond. As those temperatures rise, so does the chance of severe thunderstorms. Summer storms in North Carolina are not uncommon but they are often quite isolated leaving the state’s average of true washouts at under ten days per summer month. 


For those building a new residence, such as the lucky clients of Ken Harvey Homes, it is important to orientate the home’s lot layout to best cope with the local climate. For instance, limiting westward-facing windows can reduce the amount of afternoon sun, which in turn reduces cooling needs. Strategically placing windows, doors, and walls can also harness breezes, promoting natural ventilation while decreasing dependency on air conditioning. Ken Harvey Homes also installs high-grade insulation while paying close attention to sealing windows and doors properly. 


Much of Ken Harvey Homes’ construction process focuses on energy efficiency. There are also many ways that homeowners can help their home remain cool during those dog days of summer,


  • A high-quality HVAC system is standard in today’s new builds but homeowners must give them regular care to ensure long-lasting efficiency. Annual service checks are a must as technicians check freon, air filters, fins, and coils.
  • When planning the build of your new home, opt for a programmable thermostat. If your home is already complete, purchase your own as installation is quite simple. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to schedule cooling periods in conjunction with the cadence of their home. Rather than stressing the HVAC when residents are out and about, a programmable thermostat allows the HVAC system to rest, turning back on just before everyone returns from work, school, or even vacations. 


Summer Breezes!


  • The most common way to increase airflow is via ceiling fans, another standard add to southern homes. Did you know that using a ceiling fan in conjunction with air conditioning is so effective that thermostats can often be raised by four degrees? Even on those days that are just plain sweltering, moving air provides a feeling of much-needed cooling comfort. 
  • Proper ventilation can also remove excess heat when engaging an attic fan to draw heat right out of your home. Even better? Get up early and open those windows while the temperatures are still low! This will allow the attic fan to pull fresh, breezy air through your home. 


Window Treatment: Inside and Out:


  • Effective window treatments can make a huge difference in a home’s temperature all year long. In the summer, using blinds or curtains to block the sun’s rays will prevent the interior from heating up quickly. For rooms that aren’t used often, invest in thermal or blackout curtains that can easily be pulled open as needed.
  • Shade trees aren’t typically associated with window treatments yet when strategically positioned, leaves will create natural shade for your entire home. A bonus? Shade trees lose those leaves in the winter, allowing sunlight to pour inside, and warming your home at just the right time. 


Reducing Heat Generation Within Your Home:


  • Consider grilling outside rather than turning on the oven inside.
  • Run major appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers during the cooler times of day such as early morning or late evening. 
  • Allow hair to air dry rather than using blow dryers or curling irons. 
  • Invest in timers for light fixtures, ensuring that they will be turned off when not in use. LED light bulbs are also a great investment as they not only produce less heat, they last much longer.
  • Many homeowners are installing solar panels to harness electricity without tapping fully into the power grid. From hot water heaters to electric vehicles, solar panels are a terrific way to create a more energy-efficient home. 


Building energy-efficient homes has always been top of mind for the team at Ken Harvey Homes as they have first-hand knowledge of just how hot summer days in North Carolina can be. New residents are encouraged to incorporate their own home-cooling methods by adopting a few easy habits. This is not only a great way to decrease utility bills but, more importantly, it is a wonderful way to contribute to a healthier planet.


Reach out to Ken Harvey Homes today to learn about how our building practices emphasize energy efficiency year-round!

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