Tag Archives: general contractors in newton ma

Energy Saving Concepts & Ideas for Cooling the Home in Summer

Maintaining a cooler indoor environment in the summer can be a challenge for New England green home designers. Fortunately, there are several techniques that can cool your home without the need for increasing energy use or turning up the cooling system. Here are a few of those methods for your consideration:
 
  • Keep sunlight out of your home: Sunlight coming through your home’s windows can cause excess heat in your indoor spaces and put additional stress on your cooling system. Use drapes, shades, or other window coverings to block excess sunlight streaming through your windows. Install awnings or other shading systems to prevent sunlight from getting to your windows. Consider adding solar-blocking window films or other treatments.
  • Improve ventilation and air circulation: Install ceiling fans to improve air circulation and boost cooling. Make sure the fans are set to direct air currents downward into the room. The breezes will cool you and the air flow will also help re-circulate cool air that has settled near the floor. Consider installing a whole-house ventilation system to further improve air circulation.
  • Don’t use heat-generating appliances during the day: Avoid using cooking stoves, ovens, clothes washers and dryers, and other heat-producing appliances during the day. This heat will raise indoor temperatures and decrease indoor comfort. Use these devices in the evenings or at night when outdoor temperatures have dropped.
  • Close off unused rooms. By closing the doors to the rooms you don’t use during the day, it will keep cool air from permeating the spaces. This allows you a little more customization of what areas of the house you’d like to keep cooler.
Sage Builders LLC is a general contractor in Newton, MA, offering professional design-build, construction, and renovation services for Boston-area homeowners. Contact us today for more information that New England green home designers can use to maintain a cooler indoor environment.

Incorporate a Roof Overhang to Curb Energy Cost & Usage

Passive cooling offers homeowners many effective ways to cut cooling costs and reduce energy usage while still maintaining excellent home comfort. One of the most effective techniques of passive cooling recommended by Sage Builders involves shading your windows against sunlight. You can provide substantial amounts of shading by adding roof overhangs and materials to your home.

Effects of Sunlight

When sunlight comes through your windows, it increases the temperature inside your home. In winter this can be a benefit, but in summer, heat gain from sunlight decreases the comfort level of your living environment. Additional heat can also make your cooling system work harder than necessary, increasing your energy bills and adding extra wear and tear to your HVAC equipment.

Roof Overhangs and Materials

In combination with other passive cooling techniques, roof overhangs can significantly reduce cooling costs and improve indoor comfort.
  • Visual appeal: Roof overhangs can increase the visual appeal of your home. As an architectural feature, they can be an impressive addition to the building’s structure.
  • Solar panels: Some roof overhang projects incorporate solar panels that generate electrical power for use in the home. Since the overhangs are intended to shield the windows from sunlight, they will receive plenty of light for power generation.
  • Cool roofs: You can choose a white-colored material for your roof overhang to increase the cooling effect. White roofs reflect sunlight away from your home, which helps keep the interior cooler. Painting roofs with a white or reflective coating material can have the same effect.
Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, provides design-build, construction, and consulting services for customers in the Boston area and surrounding communities. Contact us today for more information on roof overhangs and materials and how a roof overhang can improve indoor comfort and reduce your energy expenses.

Practical, Green Ideas for Renovating the Porch

A porch renovation gives you the opportunity to revamp this area into a functional green space using sustainable materials and processes. Here are some ideas for renovating outdoor rooms and porches.
  • Use Green Materials: Take advantage of green materials when redoing your porch. Some of the more common choices of sustainable material for a porch renovation include bamboo, cork, wood, and linoleum. Linoleum provides a finish that looks like vinyl. Plastic and plastic-composite lumber provides a strong material that won’t rot or sustain damage from insects like wood. Aluminum is also a sturdy renovation material with an immunity to decay and damage.
  • Consider recycled material: In many cases, recycled material can be effectively used in a porch renovation. Bricks, wood, metal, and other material from demolished buildings can all be incorporated into an effective remodel. Check into local recycling cooperatives or retail outlets that may have material left over from larger projects.
  • Cover your porch: Include a roof over your porch to create a more comfortable and inviting space. With a roof, your porch can be usable even if the weather outside isn’t completely cooperative. A roof keeps away rain, snow, and excess heat from sunshine.
  • Install a walkway: An attractive walkway up to your porch will add significant visual appeal to the entire house. Add pathway lights along the walkway for safety and additional aesthetic charm.
  • Include greenery: Add green plants and vegetation to your renovated porch for the visual appeal and other benefits of greenery in a living space. Flowers and even vegetable plants can be effective as an addition to a porch renovation.
Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, provides expert design, renovation, and consulting services for homeowners in the Boston area. Contact us today for more information on renovating outdoor rooms and porches.

Passive Cooling Keeps Your Home Cooler for Much Less

Cooling your home with a heat pump or air conditioner is the most familiar way of maintaining home comfort in the summer. However, there are other methods of cooling your home that require less energy and cost less in the long run. Here are some of the passive cooling technology features you can use to reduce cooling costs this year.
  • Install shading: Shading, such as awnings over windows, can reduce the amount of sunlight that enters you home and, as a result, decrease the amount of cooling you need.
  • Put in reflective barriers: Install a reflective barrier under the roof to reflect heat away from your home.
  • Use a reflective coating: Coat your roof with a reflective material or paint that will also reflect heat and prevent it from warming up your attic and other areas of your home.
  • Install a cooling tower: In some environments, a cooling tower can provide passive cooling without the energy consumption of fans, blowers, compressors, and other equipment. Cooling pads at the top of the tower have water circulated over them. Hot air moving through the pads is cooled by this process. Gravity then moves cool air produced by these towers downward and into your home.
  • Install earth tubes: Earth tubes work on a process similar to geothermal cooling. They extend a distance under the surface of the earth where the temperature stays about the same all year long. Air circulated into these tubes is cooled in this consistent environment, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the air to desired temperatures.
Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, is an expert source of residential design, construction, and renovation services. Contact us today for more information on passive cooling technology and how it can help keep your home comfortable for less.