Energy Efficiency

The sun in the South Carolina summer is a hot molten mass in the sky that I shake my fist at. I always think of it as a little kid with a magnifying glass and ants. We are trying to lessen its power by controlling where and when it lands on things.

The house has several areas of glass facing the south. We needed to stop the sun from coming in during the summer and to let it come in during the winter. I believe were trending in the realm of passive solar design. The easiest way to get this done was to extend the eaves of the house. The length was determined by where the sun was hitting at the hottest part of the day. Extending it 2 feet was optimal. This kept the sun out of the house in the summer starting at 11:00 AM, in the winter when the we need the warmth of the sun it is able to come in most of the day because it’s lower in the sky. Makes sense to me, but in action it’s just amazing how much better it is in the kitchen. Now your asking yourself how did you perform this miracle? The nasty little boy still holds the magnifying glass but I have a handy husband with magical skills.

First you rip off the existing eaves…


then you add an extension to the length you like. This is the front of the house no sun here but this keeps the rain away from the house.


Then you put it all back together. This is what you end up with.


Notice how this sides extension has prevented that nasty mold on the house. We did this side last year.

Ok, but I’m sure you want to see the back of the house. We did not extend the area over the sliding door because we plan to put a roof over this deck.


ImageWe managed to put up new siding. We went with cement board because not only does it offer some fire protection but it has more thermal mass. We hope it not only helps with insulation but sound deadening. The 2 foot extension works perfect for the back. The front is 18 inches there is plenty of shade there and we wanted the light to come in. We also did do a little extra when we extended the eaves. We added hurricane ties on the rafters, just a little extra peace of mind during storms. We are working on the siding one side at a time as the money comes in. I’ve saved all my power bills so we can see the changes. I have also planted a row of maple trees facing this back side but I’ll have to wait for years to see that pay off.  


1 Comment

  1. joan reid said,

    June 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Hi its Mom. I finally sat down to find your blog again. Wow, you have made so many changes and its all wonderful. How I yearn to come visit but, well you know. Maybe one day I’ll say whats the to fear and get us going. Better soon, time marches on all to fast. We can talk about it in August when you venture up this way. Good job, all of it. Love ya all.

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