Eaves and a Comfortable Life

When designing a new home, you want to take advantage of the chance to make it as energy efficient as possible, thereby saving money as well as creating a healthier and more comfortable living space. For new home builders it’s an important factor to think about environmentally sustainable homes. All homes need to be correctly shaded so as to take advantage of the winter sun, and block it out in the summer, and this also includes the shading of glass.

Unprotected glass is the major reason for unwanted heat in a home in the summer months, where radiant heat becomes trapped within the confines of your living space. One of the most effective ways to provide shading is through the use of eaves which are designed to protect your home, including the windows, from the rays of the sun in the hot months, and to let in helpful sun during the cool months.

This can be achieved in many climates by angling the eaves to allow some low angle winter sun to reach walls, floors and specially house windows. The way that you correctly align your eaves would depend mostly on the weather – in colder altitudes the width of the eaves must be reduced to 42 or 43 per cent and also increasing the distance between the window head and the eave. It might not be beneficial to alter the width of the eaves in the lower latitudes, as hot summers and long days would make the lack of eaves unbearable.

There are very specific formulas that should be used based on latitude and climate to determine an optimum eaves width for energy efficiency. One way of calculating the needed width of the eaves on a ground level home is to multiply the distance from the eaves-line down to the bottom of the window by 0.7; this will give you an eave width that will protect the window during summer. Doing so should keep the glass adequately shaded in the hotter latitudes during the summer months.

Considering all the possibility for shading is an important consideration for new home builders. Not all home builders use external sources and plants, blinds or even louvers, operable clerestory windows, glaze and tinted glass so as to adjust the way sun enters the home. You want your home to work for you, instead of against the climate. If it runs too cold or too hot, it could become expensive to keep your home tolerable.

If your home is well designed and sustainable, it would both run better as well as save you money. Fixed shading devices such as eaves, if properly installed, not only save money, but save lots of time, energy, care and hassle, making your home a more comfortable, healthy and homely place to live.