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Designing a Home for Comfort in Summer

Architects Engineers

Summer is upon us, and if you follow the Window Geeks, you’ll know that overheating has been top of mind recently. That comes as no surprise after what happened last year with BC’s heat dome. Overheating isn’t just an important consideration for homeowners – it’s also crucial for people who design and build homes. Thankfully, you have the experts on your side to help break down the best approach to combat overheating in a home and dispel some common myths.

Consider the Envelope of the Home

On #TwoCentsTuesday, we recently asked what the most effective way to combat overheating in a home is. The options were air-conditioning & heat pumps, LoE upgrades on windows, or both. When it comes to new homes or renovating old ones, you want to ensure overheating does not occur in the first place. This requires us to consider the envelope of a home and how we can use modern advancements to keep residents cool and make a home efficient.

SHGC & Passive Solar Building Design

Windows are one of the most critical elements of the building’s envelope, especially when it comes to internal comfort. We’ve touched before on the idea that a high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient equates to free heat in the winter months but can lead to big problems when things warm up. That’s because you can’t change the window coatings with the seasons, and all that supposed ‘free heat’ in the winter is present in summer. As a result, a higher cooling load in the summer will drain considerable electricity. With our climate getting warmer, high SHGC is definitely not a route you want to go down when designing a new home or renovating an older one. Passive solar design in general is looking considerably less appealing, with those unintended consequences being exacerbated by excessive heat in the summer months.

LoE Coatings & Heat Pumps

Even in winter, the idea of gaining extra warmth through a high SHGC is redundant. Modern LoE coatings reflect heat back to the source internally as well as externally, which is one of the main ways new windows keep residents warmer in those colder months. Combined with a heat pump, which is a cheap and efficient way to warm a home, residents should be very comfortable and also save on their energy bills. Heat pumps aren’t just useful for winter, however. They can also act as a cooling device in summer. They’re considerably more cost-effective than air conditioners and better environmentally, making them an excellent option for dealing with any heat that does make it into the home.

So when it comes to your next project, be it new build or renovation, be sure to incorporate both a heat pump and windows with high-performance LoE coatings. This will keep residents cool and happy in those increasingly hot summer months.

We Are Your Certified Window Geeks

We love to talk windows! We’re here to help, so if you have a question about your window project all you have to do is reach out. Contact us early in the process so that our experts can make sure everything is correct from the get-go.

For more information on this topic (and many more!) contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or drop us an email at Join the club and become a Window Geek yourself by signing up for our biweekly newsletter, which provides news, advice, and tips about the window industry and upcoming events, and test your window knowledge by following us on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Written by: Les Ferris , June 23, 2022
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