Turning the fan on “high” or cranking up the A/C are not the only ways to keep your building cool. While these two cooling tactics will work, they will also drive up your energy bills. One strategy you may not have used to cool down your home, is interior design.
The interior design of your business can actually affect how cool the building’s overall temperature is.
Window Shades and Shutters
Sunlight from windows produces a lot of heat. Installing shutters or hanging up shades is your first way to block out the sun.
For shades, you’ll want heavier material and darker colors to completely neutralize the sunshine coming in through your windows. There are some shades made specifically for blocking out sunshine and others that are made from reflective material.
If you decide to install shutters you have a little more options in terms of color usage. Generally shutters can be used to block out the sun’s rays from your windows.
The color palette you use for your interior can have a cooling effect on your various rooms. Different colors provide a cooling atmosphere for different types of rooms. For example, if your room is already shaded, either by landscape or shutters, try to use a brighter tone such as sea green. This adds some liveliness and brightness to a room that has been cooled through reduced sunshine.
Rooms with exterior facing walls pull in heat from the outside and release it inside. Using white with some blue undertones helps to cool down these types of rooms.
Plants and Landscaping
Okay, so this is technically exterior design but it has an effect on the interior. Planting tall trees in strategic areas around your building’s exterior can provide shade from the sun. This can help reduce sunlight in windows without the need for shutters or shades. It can also help keep exterior walls shaded from the sun’s heat. In turn, less exterior heat will be transferred to the interior of your building.
The materials your home is constructed from play a large role in determining the interior temperature. You’ll notice a lot of buildings in the Southwest use adobe as a main building material. This is simply because adobe has thermal properties that keep the home cooler in the hot climate.
When talking about the “flow” in interior design, most people think of the spatial flow the room. However, much thought should be given to the airflow of the room.
An open floor plan will often maximize the airflow of your building. Placing windows across the home from each other in an open floor plan will allow for a beautiful cross breeze to cool off the room. In a hot climate, the interior design of your building should place a strong emphasis on promoting airflow.