Roatan experiences some absolutely beautiful, tropical weather, but it also means that keeping homes cool can be expensive. While there are plenty of places on the island to purchase air-conditioning units, the cost of electricity is much higher here than in the US and running the AC all day will quickly add up on your RECO bill! If you are planning on building a home in Roatan, you can take the heat into consideration and use building methods that will naturally help keep your home cool. So if you’re currently designing a home on the island, make sure you factor the weather into the design and create one that stays cool and will keep your utility bill manageable.
The first thing to consider is insulation. Good insulation allows your home to cool faster which places less stress on your appliances.
Insulation can be added to an existing home, but it may be expensive. It’s a worthwhile investment as it will reduce the energy bills accumulated in trying to keep the home cool.
2. Air Flow
When designing a home, air flow through the home needs to be considered. Windows, doors, and vents can be positioned to create cross ventilation through the home.
Allowing winds to enter through a smaller opening than they leave through creates a squeeze point. Squeeze points increase the wind velocity, which will cool the home faster. The home can also be designed to let the winds enter at a 45-50 degree angle. This increases air circulation.
Some homes also have an opening high in the home, and an opening low in the building to create a stack effect. This allows warm air to escape through the high opening, and cool air to enter through the low opening.
Trees, plants, and vegetation can also be used to cool the air entering the home. Properly placed trees and vegetation can be used to funnel the wind around the home.
Homes that have some shade are much cooler than homes without. Eaves, sunshades, overhangs, trees, and plants can be used to shade the home from the sun, which reduces the heat in the interior of the home. Even putting a window box by a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight can have a cooling effect.
Some people have reported success by putting a solar tint on the windows. A solar tint is designed to deflect heat away from the home.
One of the last tasks in designing a home is to paint the exterior. Avoid dark colors as they can attract heat to the home, while lighter colors reflect the heat and keep it away from the home. A light colored, energy efficient paint may be designed to keep the home cool. Cooling energy efficient paint is semi-permeable, so it will allow some water to reach the walls, then evaporate, which also helps keep the walls, and home cooler.
If you are planning on building a home on Roatan, contact Treasure Island Construction for ideas on how you can keep your island home cool.