Home Orientation Pt. 2

Home Orientation Pt. 2 with Anderson Construction Group, Inc

Home Orientation Tips (Pt. 2)

Home orientation can have such an astounding effect on your heating and cooling bills, especially here in Central Texas where the summers get so blisteringly hot! Some natural assistance in cutting those costs is always helpful, and leaves more room in the budget for the fun stuff. Let’s jump back into some of the ways nature can help you out!

Take Cover!

Tree cover, that is! There are a number of ways that strategically placed trees can benefit your bottom line. Last month we talked about the sun’s differing summer and winter paths. To recap:

  • Summer Sun: rises north of true east, travels high in the sky, sets north of true west
  • Winter Sun: rises south of true east, travels nearer to the horizon, sets south of true west

So, where do the trees factor in? 

Imagine planting a row of deciduous trees (birch, crape myrtle, mesquite, oak, etc.) in your south-facing yard. In the summer, the canopy is full, and you have plenty of shade for playtime and yard work. In winter, the leaves have fallen, and that low-lying southerly sun can shine right through your windows! 

This helps provide some extra warmth to your living areas (see previous blog post for floor plan tips), and takes some strain off of your heating system.

More Home Orientation Tips

That’s not all though! 

Concrete, asphalt, and gravel driveways hold an immense amount of heat in the summers, and can easily overheat a house in these Central Texas summers. While this outdoor radiator effect can be reduced by laying the driveway east of your house where it will only be exposed to the gentler morning sun. Before cooling in the afternoon shade, you can once again employ some native foliage to mitigate your climate system use. A nicely shaded, east-laying driveway will save you some summer money, andkeeps a comfortable space for vehicles and chalk art!

There is a never-ending list of benefits to considering the orientation of your home! These principles make a great start, and hopefully serve as inspiration for how to get the most out of YOUR home. 

Contact the Anderson Construction Group, Inc. today to get started building your very own Custom Luxury Home with efficiency in mind!

We have more tips to share so check back next month!

Home Orientation

Home Orientation with Anderson Construction Group Inc

Home Orientation (Pt. 1)

Home orientation is one of the most important aspects to consider when looking at a home’s efficiency and comfort! By simply taking a few cues from your climate and surroundings, they’ll do much of the heating and cooling work for you, whether you’re building a new home, remodeling the one you have, or deciding which one is right to buy.

Sunny Side Out

First, let’s look at the sun: we all know it rises in the east and sets in the west. It also swings low through the sky in the winter, and shines down from a sharp angle in the summer.

Therefore, large south-facing windows will gather plenty of warming sunlight in the winter, and the high summer sun will be at too sharp an angle to overheat your home. To increase this effect, consider a roof with significant overhang, and orient your longest walls to the north and south. Just like that, you’re passively saving money year-round!

Thanks to that low sun path, the north sides of hills can find themselves shaded all winter long. If you get to choose, try setting up on the south side instead.

Floor Planning

The arrangement of rooms within your home can also have a dramatic impact on your energy use. Don’t waste the heat collected from those south-facing windows on a laundry room or staircase. Put those to the north, and they’ll act as a buffer from the northerly winter winds. You can take advantage of that southerly light and heat for your living room or kitchen instead.

Make sure the western end of your house is prepared for bright afternoon light. That could be a study that warms and brightens as the day goes on, or a dining room where the whole family can watch the sun set together!

The east, of course, gets sunrise. This is a great spot for bedrooms with large windows, so you can wake with the sun and take advantage of that early warmth. It will also cool quickly, ensuring you aren’t overheating as you head to bed in the evening.

In some places, it’s nearly impossible to orient your home to exact compass points. Luckily, all of these benefits can still be obtained with up to a 15-20 degree shift from true north!

This all makes a great start to the principles of home orientation. We still have more to share though, so check back next month for Part 2!

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