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Keeping a brick house cool in the summer can be an unwelcome chore. As compared to other building materials, brick is especially adept at holding heat, which means that you will have to be proactive to make your house comfortable. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your brick house cool, even during the hottest days of summer.
To keep your house cool, it is important to minimize your house’s exposure to the sun while keeping colder air inside the house. To achieve this, buy building materials to reflect the sun from your house’s exterior, install insulation or A/C, or take steps to ensure that no hot air seeps in.
These methods, along with several others to deflect heat from your house, will be discussed in-depth below. If you struggle with maintaining a pleasant, cool temperature in your home, read on.
Insulate your house.
Insulating your house is arguably one of the most long-term, effective ways to keep your brick house cool. Bricks have a naturally high thermal mass, meaning that if you can keep your house cool initially, your house will stay cool for longer. However, if your house heats up, the brick will in turn radiate more heat for longer than other building materials.
Therefore, it is important to prevent your house from heating up during the day, and this can be done using insulation. Insulating your house will keep cooler air inside while preventing hot air from getting indoors, and is an excellent method for moderating the temperature inside your home.
Protect your house from the sun.
Direct sunlight is not your friend when keeping your house cool. Bricks will absorb and hold heat better than other, lighter building materials, and direct sunlight will only add to unwelcome heat exposure.
To keep your house shaded, consider planting trees or other greenery around the outside of your home. These plants will keep the sunlight from directly hitting your brick walls, and — as an added bonus — provide you privacy during the day. It is especially good to plant around windows, as windows are poor insulators, and direct sunlight on exposed windows will heat your house faster.
Protect your windows: Close blinds, get awnings.
Because windows do not insulate well, if you want to prevent heat from getting into your brick home, cover up your windows during the day. You can erect awnings over windows where direct sunlight comes through, or find good-quality blinds to block out the sun.
It may go without saying, but it is also important to close your windows during the daytime. Sunlight and hot air will enter your house through open windows; however, it may be a good idea to open your windows at night, when the outside has cooled down to a lower temperature.
Install air conditioning.
Though it is a more expensive option, installing air conditioning is a great method of keeping your brick house cool in the summer. It works quickly, effectively, and can last for years if you stay on top of upkeep for your A/C system.
As bricks store and hold temperature more efficiently than other forms of building materials, it is important to keep the temperature of your bricks low from early in the day. Installing A/C can ensure that your home remains cool at all hours, and bricks will hold in the cold air well, particularly if you install insulation as discussed above.
Seal up leaky doors and windows.
Cracks around doors and windows can allow hot air to enter your home, and, at the same time, will allow cool air to escape outside. Close off your home as much as possible to help to regulate the temperature of your home, and keep any cold air indoors.
If you decide to insulate your brick home or install A/C, sealing up cracks around the edges of your doors and windows will be an essential step to keeping your home cool during the summer months. The cold air that A/C generates may not be useful if it is escaping through your windows, and insulation will hold in any hot air that comes into your home.
Use light-colored paint.
Not only does brick trap heat, but darker shades of paint will absorb heat as well. To avoid turning your home into a brick oven, paint your brick with light-colored, sun-reflecting paint. These types of paints will reflect the heat from sunlight, rather than absorbing heat throughout the day.
Sun-reflecting paint can be as simple as the color you choose, like white, powder blue, or a light green. Additionally, there are several great paint additives on the market, such as ThermaCels Insulating Paint Additive, which you can mix into outdoor paints if you would like to boost its cooling properties.
Use sun-reflecting materials for your roof.
Like the color of your walls, the color and material of your roof will also contribute to the temperature of your house during summer months. The lighter the color of your roof, the less heat your roof will absorb.
Along with color, the material of your roof will impact its ability to absorb the sun’s heat. Metal roofs and reflective coatings on shingles can help to deflect sunlight. Other materials such as shingles or dark tiles will not be as effective, so choosing the color and building material of your roof carefully can have a large impact on the temperature of your house.
Build using clay bricks.
If you have the option, and you know that keeping cool is important to you during the summer, avoid building your house with concrete bricks. Concrete has a higher thermal mass than clay. Once concrete absorbs heat, it will continue radiating that heat throughout the evening and into the night.
Clay, on the other hand, has a lower thermal mass. While this means that it will heat up more easily than concrete, it will release that heat faster, leaving your house cooler in the evening hours.
A classic solution that can work in any home, brick or not, is purchasing fans to place around your home. This is generally more cost effective than installing A/C units, but will not provide enough cold air for your entire home. Rather, fans are excellent options for small rooms, and will help to cool down whichever space you target.
While fans will not technically provide colder air, fans are very effective in lowering body temperatures for humans. If you are interested in learning how fans can help to keep you cool, watch the video below:
If you are trying to keep your brick house cool, it is important to deflect heat as much as possible due to the high thermal mass of bricks. Installing insulation or A/C units, ensuring that your exterior walls and roof reflect sunlight, and preventing cool air from escaping your home will help to keep your house at a comfortable temperature all summer long.