I saw this little article a few days ago on how to make sure you built a cold and moldy home and it really made me laugh. I live in a city where many of the older homes were built with the wisdom of architects who paid attention to how their occupants would live, in the days before central air and triple glazed windows. New homes mostly aren’t built with those same things in mind, which has always astonished me. My own home is oriented weirdly because of the path of the street, but even with that factored in we have deciduous trees on the south and west sides to help with the summer heat and winter cold. I have to say I never even considered the mold thing. Scary!
With that in mind, here are some tips from the past to help you with your energy bills and your mold problems!
-Plant deciduous trees, especially on the south and west sides. This will shade your house in summer, yet allow the natural solar energy to help heat your house all winter.
-Retractable awnings on south and west facing windows work as well as trees while you’re waiting for them to grow in. Many are cloth, and you might even be able to make your own!
–Ventilate your attic properly, or if you live in the northern part of the country, forgo A/C for a whole house fan. Even here in the south, they work wonders in all but the hottest 2 months of the year.
-plant evergreen trees on the north and east faces to help sheild your house from blustery winter winds.
-landscape wisely to reduce your water consumption. Xeriscaping doesn’t have to mean your yard looks like a desert! You can create a water saving and pesticide free yard that will improve your home’s value in many different styles!
-invest in weatherstripping, insulation and good thick curtains to keep what energy you are using right where it belongs – in your house!