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Tips to Organize Your Attic in 2018

As a new year is here, many people are eyeing the possibility of getting more organized in 2018. One of the top places to tackle for many homeowners are much-neglected attic spaces. The task may appear daunting at first, especially if you have years of accumulation to sort through. These tips can help you handle your attempts to organize your attic in 2018 like a pro.

Sort Through Your Items Well
While sorting, create three or four different piles:

Keep
Trash
Donate
Give to Family or Friends (have specific recipients in mind for this pile – otherwise, donate)

It may seem harsh, especially when dealing with items associated with strong memories. However, if you’re storing them in your attic for years at a time, the items aren’t offering you much value. Keep that in mind when deciding which items to keep or discard.

Also remember that they may have more immediate value to other friends or family members and consider offering these items as gifts to them.

Pitch the items you intend to trash. Donate and give away others quickly. For those you choose to keep, don’t forget to create a detailed inventory so you know what you have stored in this out-of-the-way place in your home.

Use Plastic Boxes and Consider Hanging Items, Too
Hanging items in your attic conserves valuable floor space and leaves you more room to stack boxes. Using plastic bins and boxes provides a sturdier framework for the items you’re storing in your attic and better protection from the elements than cardboard.

Find a Use for Items You’re Storing in the Attic
The thing about items stored in the attic is that they are serving no real purpose. With the possible exception of seasonal items, like holiday decorations, ski equipment, or winter clothing; most of these items are simply out of sight and out of mind. Consider repurposing them into something that is useful that may provide you with the benefit of the memories, without becoming clutter in your home.

Label Everything
The key to good organization is to know exactly what you have and where you have it. Label every box so that you know what is in it and can quickly locate items you’re looking for when the time to retrieve those items arrives.

Once you have eliminated unwanted, unused, and unloved items from your attic, it is important to protect the items that remain by installing an attic fan to provide outstanding ventilation, moisture removal, and to help circulate the air in your attic to keep it and the items stored there cooler.

Whole House Fans Benefits Climates with Swings in Daytime and Nighttime Temperatures

If you, like many people, live in an area where the nights are often cooler than the days, it makes little sense to continue running your air conditioner throughout the night as the temperature drops outside. It wastes energy and causes unnecessary wear and tear on your air conditioning unit(s). This is especially true since there is a better solution to will help circulate clean cool air throughout your home for less.

This solution comes in the form of a whole house fan and it offers far more benefits for your household than you may expect – especially when daytime temps are significantly higher than evening temps.

Rids Your Home of Super Heated Air
The daytime heat can do a real number on your home, trapping hot air in your attic well into the night. This super heated air forces your air conditioning units to work harder to cool the space in your home and can make your home feel warm, even after the outside temperatures have cooled considerably.

Using a whole house fan allows you to draw the cool air inside your home, through open lower floor windows, while expelling the hot air through vents in your attic so that the inside of your home is nice and comfortable all night long – without relying on your air conditioner.

Extends the Life of Your Roof
The super heated air that becomes trapped in your attic can be a destructive force for the life of your roof. Making the switch to a whole house fan at night, in areas where the sun is hot during the day, but temperatures drop rapidly at night, can help remove the destructive, stifling air from your attic, as well as any moisture that might otherwise become trapped there to breed mold and mildew that will destroy the structure of your home and the soundness of your roof.

Can Create a Current of Cool Air Flows Throughout Your Home
Rather than isolating the primary benefits to a few select rooms, you can use your whole house fan to create a current of cool, fresh air that flows freely through your home, cooling every room it reaches. This creates a far more comfortable living space for everyone.

When morning comes, simply close your windows and turn the fan off. This can often keep your home cool for a little longer in the morning before you’ll need to turn your air conditioner on as the heat of the day really begins to boil saving you money, increasing the life of your air conditioner, and preserving the structure of your roof. Everyone wins!

If you have questions about the benefits of whole house fan in your location, give us a call here at WholeHouseFan.com at 1.888.229.5757.

Warning Signs of Imminent Ice Dams

When it comes to ice dams, prevention is always the best course of action. Ice dams cause a wide range of damage to your home including things like mold, mildew, damage to walls, ceilings, gutters, and more. It can even cause the attic insulation to get wet making it less effective and creating more ice damming problems.

Below are a few signs that your home may be at risk of developing ice dams.

Huge Icicles
Some people don’t even know you’re at risk for ice dams, though, until you’re looking at a beautiful display of gigantic icicles that could be a sign of future untold amounts of damage to the roof and walls of your home. In fact, icicles hanging along the line of your roof or your gutters is a sure sign that you may have ice dams.

Significant Snowfall
Even the best insulated and ventilated attics will struggle with copious amounts of snowfall on your roof. Additionally, heavy wet snow is more likely to result in ice dams that the light and powdery snow. When snow begins early in the season, like November into early December, it increases the risks of developing ice dams before the winter season is over.

Water Seeping Through Doorframes or Windows
In fact, any water penetrating the interior of your home is a bad sign as far as ice dams are concerned. If you see this sign, though, it’s actually an indication that you already have significant ice damming or residual damage (exposure) from previous ice dams that hasn’t yet been repaired.

Fluctuating Temperatures
If temperatures hover near freezing for several days while you have snow on your roof, it can cause major ice damming issues. This allows the snow to melt slowly while the temperatures are above freezing and then refreeze when they dip down lower creating the perfect storm for ice dams to form.

Ice Building Up in Your Gutters and Along the Roof
Even the smallest amount of ice in your gutters can do a lot of damage to the roof line of your home. Make sure your gutters are cleared out before the first freeze of winter, so they can drain well throughout the season.

Preventing ice dams is your first priority heading into the winter season. You do this by keeping your roof cold this winter. Make sure you have your gutters cleaned, check the insulation between your ceilings and your attic, and make sure to keep your attic properly ventilated with the installation and use of an attic fan and vents.

Does My Roof Need Ventilation?

One of the most overlooked aspects of installing a new roof on homes today is the need for roof ventilation. Whether you deal with extreme heat or extreme cold for some or all of the year or whatever part of the country you live in, you need roof ventilation in your home.

Cold Climate Ventilation Needs
In cooler climates, where winters are long and cold, you need roof ventilation as a preventative tool for avoiding ice dams, which can cause a great deal of damage to your roof in the winter months. This damage includes  moisture entering your home in addition to the structural damage ice dams can create.

Hot Climate Roof Ventilation Needs
In hot climates, roof ventilation is an essential tool for eliminating excessively stifling air that is often trapped in your home’s attic space. This super-heated air often forces your air conditioning to work harder than necessary shortening the life of your air-conditioning unit and generating much higher utility bills throughout the dog days of summer.

In humid climates, moisture is another problem that plagues homeowners – especially when roof ventilation is inadequate for the task. These are all things you need to keep in mind when building, buying, and updating your home.

Other Reasons to Invest in Roof Ventilation
Additionally, roof ventilation helps to reduce condensation and moisture that builds up on the underside of your roof’s sheathing. This helps to prevent mold and mildew from becoming problems that plague your family’s health and damage the structure of your home. Secondly, adequate roof ventilation can help your shingles last longer – saving you thousands of dollars in roof replacement costs.

Getting Proper Roof Ventilation
Since most homes in the United States are in climates that are either warm or cold – and in many cases both according to the season – it is a wise idea for all homeowners to consider innovative ways to improve roof ventilation when building or making energy efficient upgrades to the home. The key is to get the right amount of ventilation in your roof for the size and location of your home (specifically the climate in which you live) and to supplement the roof ventilation with other tools to help clear the heat and moisture from your attic spaces like insulation and an attic fan.

Combining the power of adequate roof ventilation with other tools like insulation and an attic fan can help you save countless dollars in roof replacements, roof repairs, air conditioner repairs, and utility bills year after year – enough to make your investment pay for itself in short order.

10 Ways to Winterize Your Garage

When cold weather hits, most people take all the necessary precautions to winterize their home so the warm air stays in and the cold air stays out. However, what about your garage? The garage is often forgotten space, but if you don’t winterize this space as well, it can impact the temperature of your home dramatically.

Below are 10 ways to winterize your garage from the effects of winter.

  1. Insulate your Garage
    Garages aren’t built to keep the heat in and this can cause problems for some people during the winter. Some garage temperatures can even get as cold as the outdoor temperatures and this isn’t good if you store things in your garage. One way to keep the heat in your garage when it’s freezing cold outside is to insulate its walls and doors.
  2. Fix or Replace Weather-stripping
    The job of weather-stripping is to create a seal between your garage door opening and your garage door. But, weather-stripping can become cracked and brittle over time which allows air to seep in between the frame and door creating cold drafts. Remove old weather-stripping and scrape the remaining off using a putty knife or scraper. The smoother and cleaner you make it, the simpler it will be to add new weather-stripping, and you’ll create a better seal.
  3. Cover Exposed Pipes
    You may end up with additional unwanted problems inside and outside your house if you have a water pipe burst. Wrap your exposed pipes with foam or plastic pipe wrap to insulate them. Save a little money by wrapping them up with old towels or newspapers instead and securing them with duct tape. Shut off pipes that travel from inside or outdoor water lines and purge them before the temperatures outdoors get below freezing.
  4. Check for Debris in your Garage Door Track
    Get rid of any grease, debris, or dirt buildup from your garage door track. You may want to check things like the handles, hinges and latches for rust build up or loose screws.
  5. Install a Heater
    Although a costly item, you can regulate your garage’s temperature by installing a heater. It’s a good investment if you store temperature-sensitive items in your garage or you work in your garage often.
  6. Waterproof the Floor of your Garage
    The minute you see flurries falling from the sky this winter, you’re just around the corner of dragging in snow, sludge, and salt into your garage. Consider waterproofing your garage floor before this happens to protect it.
  7. Caulk around the Door of your Garage
    Although it may seem intimidating to you if you haven’t done it before, caulking around your garage door is pretty much the same as caulking your windows.
  8. Install a Weather Seal
    Consider installing a seal at the threshold where the ground and your garage door meet. Not only will you keep the cold out of your garage, but you’ll keep out all the insects, rain and any other thing that can make its way underneath your garage door.
  9. Installing a Garage Exhaust Fan
    A garage is a common place for many home improvement projects. Therefore, you should protect your hard work by installing a garage exhaust fan. This fan will provide the proper ventilation your garage needs for those upcoming winter snow storms that will likely leave your garage filled with gasoline odors from your snow blower.
  10. Get Organized
    To alleviate stress later, get organized now. Put away your summer and spring gear and get your cold-winter supplies ready. Take out your snow blower and shovel. Do you have that bag of salt ready? Being organized can really help get you ready for the upcoming winter months.

If you have questions about the QuietCool GA ES-1500 garage exhaust fan, give us a call at 1.888.229.5757

Is Your Roof at Risk for Ice Dams this Winter?

Winter is almost upon us, and in some parts of the country, it already feels like it is here! This makes it a good time to talk about ice dams.

Ice dams are ridges of ice that form along the edge of your roof preventing melting snow from properly draining. When the sun shines onto your roof or heat escapes from the inside of your home through the roof and begins melting the snow trapped behind the dam, the water that is backed up behind the ice dam can leak inside your home. This can cause a wide variety of damage in your home including mold, mildew, poor air quality, and structural damage caused by rotting wood.

If your live in an area where snow is a common occurrence, your home is at risk of ice dams. The good news is that there are things you can do that will reduce your risks and help prevent the financial damage, not to mention labor intensive damage, caused by ice dams.

Preventing Ice Dams
When it comes to ice dams, prevention is always the best cure. If you prevent them from happening to begin with, you’ll never need to worry about the destruction they can bring into your home.

Insulate Your Attic
Of course, the other side of that coin is that you need to make sure there is proper insulation between your home and attic to prevent this solution from simply pulling warm air out of your home and into the attic – promoting the formation of ice dams.

Install Attic Fans
Attic fans are essential tools for creating well-ventilated attics. Since adequate ventilation is one of the keys for preventing heat from building up in your attic (aiding the creation of ice dams), they are an outstanding solution for most homeowners.  The added benefit of attic fans is that they create affordable solutions that can help you maintain the structural integrity of your home.

Vent Your Attic
When you have adequate attic ventilation it will draw in cooler air from the outside while releasing the warmer air through the vents. The process serves to cool the attic and the roof in the process.

Act early to prepare your home for winter and prevent ice dams from becoming a problem in your home. If you live in a cooler weather climate where ice and snow are common occurrences, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of prevention, first; and fast action to repair and correct ice dams, second. Keep ice dams away for a happier, healthier home this winter and in the future.

 

Preparing Your Attic for Winter

When starting to prepare for cooler weather, your attic may not be top priority and you may not even give it a thought. Still, preparing your attic for winter should be one of your first parts of your home improvement efforts to get your home ready for the winter months. Below are some steps to ensure you prepare your attic properly.

Check Insulation
Many people think that ventilating your attic in the cold winter months releases your warm air and decreases your heating efficiency since heat rises. Usually, this happens when you have poor insulation. Your furnace shouldn’t be heating your attic unless your roofing system is designed without ventilation and there’s insulation on your roofing deck. Even worse, when you don’t have adequate insulation, you’re filling your attic up with moisture-laden air.

As moist, warm air hits your roof, there’s a good chance that condensation is going to further deteriorate your wood rot and insulation. If you’re concerned about this, measure your attic temperature when the sun goes down. Hopefully it’ll be fairly close to the temperature outside.

Another fact in winter weather is ice dams; however, you can reduce or eliminate them with proper venting and insulation.

Caulk The Cracks
As you’re inspecting your attic, check out the exterior to see if there are holes, crevices or cracks where air is escaping. It only takes a small hole to place a huge burden on your HVAC system. You should fill attic areas that show the sun shining with caulk. This is an easy and fast solution that prevents thermal energy from escaping your home.

Clear Off Debris
It’s essential that you remove pine needles, leaves and other debris from your roof’s surface and gutters. Even smaller amounts of debris can hold moisture and potentially cause mold or rot breaking down the material of your roof. If you’re experienced and comfortable walking on your roof, you can go up there and blow off or broom off the collection of debris your roof collects. Be sure to get into the valleys since they’re most susceptible to water damage.

Ensure Proper Ventilation
Heated moisture-laden air in the winter from showering, cooking or other everyday activities can find its way inside your attic and can condense on the cold roof structure underside. Sometimes, heat that becomes trapped in your attic ends up melting snow that’s on your roof causing ice dams.

Moisture is the main issue that affects attics in the wintertime. Temperature fluctuations can allow condensation and moisture to form in your attic space and cause damage to your home and personal possessions you store in your attic. Attic fans properly ventilate and remove moist, hot air while introducing drier, cooler air into your attic. This helps prevent the build-up of condensation and keeps your attic dry and clear, avoiding fungus, mold and rot development.

Attic fans improve passive air circulation in your attic if you have sufficient openings for the air to get into your attic. An attic fan will enhance air circulation with proper placement and bring the temperatures of your attic to around 10 degrees of the temperature outdoors.

Hire a weatherization contractor or energy auditor to evaluate the ventilation and insulation in your attic, inspect it and make modifications if needed.

 

2018 Winter Weather Predictions

Winter is coming. It’s beginning to sound like an endless refrain, but for some people in the U.S. it means it’s time to take heed and begin to prepare – especially if current 2018 winter weather predictions hold true.

The consensus, at this point, is that there will be a La Nina event this winter resulting in above average temperatures for the bulk of the country – with the exception being northern portions of Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and portions of Minnesota where temperatures will be cooler than normal.

Additionally, however, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a much wetter winter for a fairly significant portion of the country. This means that that snow and ice may become big problems this winter for more than half the country – even in areas where temperatures are slightly above normal. In fact, AccuWeather is predicting above average snowfall for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the country.

Preparing for a Harsher than Average Winter
So what does this mean for homeowners? With so much of the country facing above average snowfall this winter, it is a wise move to review the things you can do to prepare for the frigid days ahead, including the things listed below.

Prevent Ice Dams. It sounds like such a simple thing – and it can be surprisingly simple. The key is to keep the air in your attic spaces circulating well. One way to do that is to install an attic fan. Moving the air in your attic reduces the chances of ice forming on your roof, which can lead to destructive ice dams.

Reduce Energy Expenses. There are several ways you can go about this, including installing a programmable thermostat and adjusting the temp when you’re sleeping and out of the home for the day to save on heating.

Eliminate Drafts. Cover windows and outlets with plastic film, use heavy, wind-blocking drapes, and seal air leaks located around utility outlets and around plumbing.

Stock Up on Winter Essentials. There are some items that are simply essential to have in winter climates. This includes things like extra blankets, socks, hats, gloves, sidewalk salt, kitty litter, etc.  Don’t forget a few extras, like candles, bottled water, convenience foods, and other essentials should the power go out during winter storms.

Preparing your home and your family for a long winter ahead can help you survive the coldest of days should these 2018 winter weather predictions come true. The more you do to prepare ahead of winter, the better placed you will be when the first snowflakes begin to fall.

Pre-Winter Roof Inspection Checklist

Getting ready for winter can be a lot of work. One thing that often gets left off the list of things to do as winter approaches is a thorough inspection of your roof to make sure it is ready for whatever Jack Frost has to throw your way. These are some of the things you need to check for.

Inspect Attic Insulation
The goal is to ensure that the insulation in your attic doesn’t cover vents in the eaves, soffits, or overhangs.  Also make sure any ridge vents are free of debris, leaves, etc. and that rodents haven’t removed the screens that protect your attic vents.

Having ineffective or inadequate attic insulation can lead to a different problem, ice dams. Prevention is the best cure for this particular problem that can not only damage the soundness of your roof, but also cause damage to the structure and interior of your home.

Clean Out Your Gutters
Gutters can collect leaves, limbs, and other debris that will cause the water to back up in the gutters. When this occurs, winter weather can cause the water to freeze and become too heavy, leading the gutters to break and damage your roof.

While you’re cleaning out your gutters, it’s also an appropriate time to seal your gutters, flashings, and downspouts. This adds yet another layer of protection for your home and helps to prevent those oh so damaging ice dams.

Check Your Shingles
If your home has a shingled roof, it is wise to inspect your roof carefully for missing shingles, that could lead to unwanted leaks, as well as to look for signs of leaks, mold, or mildew.

Trim Trees and Limbs
Winter can bring heavy snowfalls to some regions and snow or ice-laden branches can do their own share of damage to your home and its roof. Trim tree branches hanging over your home that may cause damage to your roof if they break and land on top of it.

If you are afraid you don’t know what to look for when conducting a pre-winter roof inspection, considering hiring someone else to come out and inspect your roof for winter. While you’re at it, have them inspect to ensure that you have proper and adequate roof ventilation, such as an attic fan, to help combat much of the damage that can happen to roofs in winter.

Remember, a little helping of prevention before winter hits can save you from very expensive cures when spring comes along.

Signs It’s Time to Replace My Roof

Extreme temperatures, severe weather and old age can all cause wear and tear of your roof. When your roof has damage, it can cause leaks, rot and mold, lower the value of your home or even collapse. By inspecting your roof regularly, you can keep minor problems from turning into bigger ones.

You’ll also avoid having to replace a roof prematurely. However, at some point you’ll need to replace your roof and it’s a good idea to know what signs to look for.

What Are The Signs You Need To Replace Your Roof?
Some signs that it may be time for a roof replacement include:

It’s Old
Often roofs last for around 20 years. Therefore, if it’s been over a couple of decades since you replaced your roof, you may want to start considering putting up a new one. In some cases, roofs can live out their natural lives without experiencing any failures. But if it looks worn and old it’s time to replace it.

Shingles Are Curling
There are two ways that shingles can curl. The first is cupping, which occurs when the shingle edges turn upward. The second is clawing and this is where the middle of the shingles starts coming up and the edges remain flat. Both of these are indications of weathering and that issues are pretty close to occurring.

Leaks
If your roof is leaking into your attic, you have problems. You may see signs of light streaming in from the sun or water coming in after snow melts or a rainstorm. When you don’t need light to see inside your roof, it could be time to replace your roof.

Roof Valleys
If your shingles on your roof are missing in one area or falling apart, it’s a good sign it’s time for a replacement. Important areas of your roof are valleys. Rain and snow flow through valleys and into your gutters. Your roof may become vulnerable to leaks if the valley becomes compromised.

Your Energy Bills Spike
A roof in good condition should insulate your home against the cold and heat. If it isn’t, your utility bills will likely increase since your heater or AC unit will have to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

What The Roof Inspector Looks For
Every spring and fall you should have an inspector come in and inspect your roof. Even the most durable and strongest roof may have flaws and weaknesses. You can avoid home structural damage by having your roof inspected twice annually. It’s important that you hire a professional since you may not be able to notice damage with your untrained eye.

Some things the roof inspector may look for include:

Improper flashing
Leaks
Rot and Mold
Shingle deterioration
Structure damage
Gutters
Age of roof
Storm damage
Broken seals or shingle lifting
Missing ceramic granules on shingles

Replacing your roof is an expensive investment you’re putting into your home. Therefore, it’s essential you have it done right. When it comes time to replace your roof, be sure you hire only an experienced roofer who stands behind their work and is upfront with their fees. Don’t wait to replace your roof if needed since that could result in more damage to your home.

Also, when getting a new roof, add some extra protection with proper ventilation like an attic fan for example, and insulation.

 

Fall Energy Saving Tips

Fall is all about getting ready for winter in many parts of the country. That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t things you can do to conserve energy and save money on your utility bills – even in the fall. These things will help you as you prepare for winter and to meet certain goals you may have to save money.

Find and Seal Leaks
Windows, walls, and even areas where there is plumbing are notorious inlets for the heat or cold of the outside air to invade your home. Fall is the perfect time of year to explore these air leaks and eliminate them with caulking, insulation, weather stripping and other essential tools.

Have a Furnace Inspection
Scheduling yearly furnace inspections is a terrific way to extend the life of your furnace. Doing it in the fall means that you can take care of potential problems that may be found before you are forced to deal with it during the coldest part of winter.

Change Furnace Filters
Keeping your filters changed on a regular basis also helps your furnace operate more efficiently and extends your furnace’s life. Fall is the ideal time to begin a new routine of filter changing and get on schedule if you are not already.

Remove Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioning units are notorious for allowing frigid air to stream into your home when the temperatures start dropping. You’ll begin to notice the effect in the fall, but it will really hit hard when winter comes knocking and the frosty winds begin to howl.

Install a Whole House Fan
Whole house fans are ideal for use in fall months where the days are warm and the nights are cool. This fan helps to draw fresh, clean, cool air into your home during the cooler hours of the day while ridding your home of moisture and heat that would otherwise become trapped in your attic spaces.

Consider a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures in your home for certain times of day so you can take advantage of lower heating and cooling costs during the hours when the family is sleeping or when the house is empty because everyone is working.

The more steps you take to keep your energy costs as low as possible in fall, the better situated you will be to handle the realities of winter when they arise. Each of these steps will help.

Planting Trees and Shrubs to Maximize Shade and Home Cooling

Shading your house can help you reduce the temperatures inside your home as much as 20°F (11°C), reports the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Trees and other vegetation provide effective shading. Landscaping is a beautiful and natural way to block out the sun and provide your home with shade. A well-placed bush, tree or vine can not only add to your property’s aesthetic value, but also deliver effective shade.

Below are some ways you can get the most out of your vegetation for shading.

Trees and Shrubs
When planting trees, place them on the northwest-southwest and northeast-southeast sides of your home. Don’t plant your trees directly to the south, unless you live in a year-round hot climate. Plant shrubs and trees so they direct the breeze. Don’t place a crowded line of evergreen trees in places they will block cool air from getting through or around them.

Even mature deciduous trees with their bare branches in the winter can reduce how much sunlight reaches your home significantly. When you plant shrubs somewhat close to your home, they’ll fill in quickly and start to shade your windows and walls within a few years.

Trellises
To keep vines from attaching to the facade of your home and damage its exterior, set trellises away from your home. This also allows air to circulate. When you place vegetation too close to your home, it can trap the heat and cause the air around your home to feel even warmer.

Dead Spaces
Planting bushes, vines and shrubs next to your home creates dead spaces that will insulate your house in both summer and winter. You’ll want at least a foot of space between your home’s wall and full-grown plants.

Wind Breaks
Shrubs and evergreen trees planted to the northwest and north of your house are a common form of windbreak. Bushes, trees and shrubs that are planted together hinder or block wind from the level of the ground to the treetops. Combining evergreen trees with a fence, wall or earth berm (raised areas of soil or man-made or natural walls) can lift or deflect the wind over your home.

Don’t plant your evergreens too close to the south side of your home if you want winter sun warmth. Windbreaks reduce the speed of wind for a distance that can reach around 30 times the height of the windbreak. Plant your windbreak away from your house at a distance of two to five times the trees’ mature height.

To maximize your home’s cooling, complement the strategic planting of trees, vines, and shrubs with a whole house fan. You can use the whole house fan in the evening to draw in cool air and reduce your home’s temperature.