4 Ways To Keep Your Home's Exterior Cool In A Hot Climate

Your home protects you and your family from the high outside temperatures. With the right changes to your home's exterior, you can increase the amount of protection your home gives you from the heat. Here are four ideas to help keep your home cool from the sun's heat.

Radiant Barrier Roof 

Your home's roof can receive heat from the sun all day. There are several things you can change with your roofing materials to reduce the amount of heat they absorb from the sun. Adding a radiant barrier in your home's attic between the roof and your home's interior is one of these ways. This radiant barrier can be a layer of aluminum sheeting or a reflective spray treatment to keep the heat out of your home. 

A radiant barrier under residential roofing can cost anywhere from 15 to 75 cents per square foot. But, this barrier can save you up to $200 each year in home cooling costs.

Cool Roofing Shingles

If you live in a hot climate, you don't want to have a dark asphalt-shingled roof on your home. This type of material is great in cold climates because it soaks up the sun's heat all day long and holds it in through the night, continuing to warm your home. If you have cool roofing materials on your home, you can lower the temperature on your roof by up to 50°F.

A good type of roofing material for a hot climate is slate tiles because their lighter color reflects the sun's heat off your home. 

Terra cotta tiles are also great for hot climates because they hold less heat. Terra cotta tiles are baked to make them hard and less porous so they don't hold in the sun's heat. Also, the shape of the terra cotta tile is a half-barrel or s-shape, allowing air circulation under each tile to prevent heat capture and keep your home cooler.

Green Roof

If your home has a flat or shallow pitch roof, it can be converted to a green roof. Add two or more inches of soil and a drainage material right over your roofing membrane and you can plant a green roof. 

A green roof reduces the urban heat island effect and insulates your home to keep it cooler when it is hot outside. The living plants, soil temperature, and roof water runoff all help to cool your house.

Shade Trees and Vegetation

Besides making your yard and home look attractive, having a lawn and plenty of shade trees in your yard can help keep your home cool when you live in a hot climate. The right landscaping design in your yard can cut your home's cooling bill by as much as 40 percent. Large trees in your yard will cast a shadow over your home's windows and roof, preventing your home from absorbing heat from the sun. The air temperature under shade trees in your yard can be 25°F lower than the temperature around a nearby asphalt parking lot. Then, trees that shade your home's roof and walls can lower the temperature inside your home by eight to ten degrees F. 

If your home has east and west-facing windows, it is a good idea to plant trees in your yard outside the windows. During the summer, the sun will shine into these windows of your home as it rises and sets, heating your home. 

You should also plant trees around your air conditioner unit outside. According to the Department of Energy, providing shade for your air conditioner can increase its efficiency by ten percent. But, make sure no leaves or vines are blocking the compressor's air flow. 

Use these four tips to help keep your home cool.