Spray foam insulation can be used in hot, humid climates such as those in the southern states of the USA just as effectively as homes in northern, colder climates. Austin, TX based firm, Heimsath Architects, has identified some tips other architects can consider when designing for hot, humid climates.
For instance, white roofs are an excellent way to help reflect the sun, its heat and readiation away from the building. By reflecting the sun away from the building, the internal temperature is reduced making the house cooler. Large eaves or overhangs are another great way to deter the sunshine and heat from the home. Providing shade over the windows and walls, just like how a tree's shade provides relief on a hot summer day, greatly contributes to reducing heat and sunshine. Think about why many homes across the southern United States have large wrap-around porches.
Another suggested consideration is thinking about where to include insulation. Did you know that an uninsulated attic in hot, humid climates can reach up to 140° and higher? Adding attic insulation allows air conditioning units to operate more efficiently because the ducts lose less energy. Plus, the firm suggests considering building envelope solutions such as spray foam insulation. Spray foam fills the cavity, ensuring that you not only have an air barrier, but also insulation.
There are a wide range of tips, suggestions and considerations that the architectural firm identify for homes in hot, humid climates such as Texas and Florida. Many of the suggested considerations can also be applied to hot, dry climates such as Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Find out how you can use spray foam insulation effectively in different areas of the home here.