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Rodrigo

DEALING WITH SOME UNCOMFORTABLE HEAT AT HOME

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Hello people. I would like to talk about a topic that could be useful for you.

 

Thinking about your future in Costa Rica, probably you are deciding between buying a house or building a new one. Even you konw you are making the decision in a tropical country, and despite the usual pleasant weather, perhaps you are not considering, in full awareness, how the heat really hits your favorite area for living.

 

This situation, in combiation with the effect of global warming, could lead to an unpleasant surprise, specially if you are not well advised on your investment, which is having very hot rooms, which would require to use an(extra)air conditioning system, or simply suffering the consequences. In order to save energy costs for air conditioning, for example, I would make some recommendations.

 

One is designing or buying the house with large windows that allow direct ventilation when they are open. They also allow good internal lighting, saving electricity by not turning on lights. If you are concerned about having too much clarity, it is preferable to use curtains or blinds to control the amount of light in the room, otherwise having small windows, ventilation and lighting will always be limited. Remember to use mosquito net sieve if the area where your home is prone of the attack from mosquitoes or other bugs.

 

Another recommendation is choosing a high-walled house. Instead of 8.5 feet, which is normal, try to get 10 feet or more. Ideally, ceilings shouldn´t be flat in the rooms, but following the contour of the roof structure, as in the case of the "artesonado" (ceilings of wooden boards and beams). There is an additional investment in higher walls, but you gain internal volume, and usually in freshness.

 

It is also convenient to use an insulator in the ceiling or sticking it to the roof structure. There are alternatives such as using polystyrene boards or fiberglass, but recently I have used another product, which is a silver reflective sheet, whose name I will not say to not create the confusion that I promote it directly, but the fact is that I have applied it in two homes of clients, an existing condo in Sabanilla Montes de Oca, San Jose, and another under built in Guápiles, Limón, and the result, in both cases, was a decrease of the internal temperature and having a cooler environment. For Sabanilla´s house, the effect was even more striking because the rooms, in the second floor, when there was no insulation, were literally ovens during the day. This product, which is available in most stores of materials, costs about 1310 colones per square meter (2.35 USD per square meter or 0.22 USD per square foot), and the installation cost can be 40% to 50% of that value. I recommend that you make the investment, especially if you're building a new home.

 

Finally, some customers opt in new homes for not putting ceiling in places like the garage or covered "patios" or terraces. even you can save money by not putting certain finishes (tile for the floor, painting), I do not recommend removing the ceiling, even in the garage, because the ceiling, rather than something cosmetic to cover up the roof structure from below, is a heat insulator, and whether you need to stay in a garage, for example for doing somethning using tools, if there is not ceiling, probably you would have an overheated room.

 

I think these points are relevant in making right decisions for comfort to enjoy your new home in the country and for avoiding extra costs that you could anticipate in time.

 

Good luck with everything.

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