People who live in Florida or Texas often accuse energy-efficiency experts of having a cold-climate bias. They’re right: most energy-saving tips are written with cold-climate buildings in mind — perhaps understandably, since Americans spend about twice as much for residential heating as they do for cooling.
Whatever the origins of this pervasive cold-climate bias, it’s time to rectify the situation with a few hot-climate design tips.
We’re not in Kansas anymore
Most builders know that house designs need to be climate-specific. In areas of the country where air conditioning bills are higher than heating bills — as they are along the Gulf Coast and in much of Florida — homes should be designed to reject exterior heat.
So what are the most important factors governing hot-climate design?