Options for a cooler south side of house

james00cMarch 26, 2009


I live close to Phoenix (AZ) where as summer temperature can go as high as 115 degrees and sometimes even higher. My house has a south facing slump block(http://www.airvolblock.com/cm/Masonry/Masonry_Slump.html) wall (28ft X 8ft) that turns into a heat sink as the outside temperature reaches 90 degrees. There is no insulation or drywall whatsoever on the inside. I as looking ideas that can be applied to the outside of the wall so as to reduce the amount of heat that penerates the wall? Thanks!


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How about a porch? It keeps summer sun off, allows winter sun in, if planned just high and deep enough.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:56PM
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Or if a porch is out of budget or incompatible with the style of the house, a removable/retractable awning or even shade sail might be something to consider. A pergola might be compatible with the style of the house, too, and does provide a surprising amount of shade if laid out properly.

If the masonry is already painted, there are heat-reflective paints available too. Have read they're practically standard issue in parts of Australia which make Phx summer weather look downright mild!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 2:21PM
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I also like the porch idea, as it expands your living space.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:41PM
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The slump block is hollow on the inside and years ago I had a contractor inject foam into the blocks but that did not help much. I feel applying reflective paint will have the same effect.

However, I like the idea of removable/retractable awning, shade sail and pergola. However, for a 28ftx8ft wall does the awning or shade sail come in one large piece?

Regarding the porch, it is not suitable option because of the style of the house.

Thanks very much for your replies!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Awnings can be custom made to wide widths, so you could have just one extra-wide one or have it in sections to make them easier to handle; IIRC in "stock" awnings you would have to go with two 14' units which still looks fine and would almost certainly be cheaper. You would need two shade sails for a 28' width since the largest stock size I've seen is 20' wide. I suppose you could have a single 28' one custom made but I should think that would be an absolute nightmare to handle. (It would be sensible to take the awning/sail down in the winter in order to get solar heat gain on that wall - I know Phx doesn't get that cold like it does up here in the frozen northlands :-) but I've been told by another Phx'er that it can get a tad chilly at night so taking advantage of that heat sink in the winter would be a good idea.)

Aluminum awnings are hideous and don't even think about it. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 10:33AM
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Do you have insulated shades for the windows? That does a world of good w/keeping heat out during the hot sun

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:01AM
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