See How This Phoenix Home Keeps Cool in the Desert Heat

This home doesn't sweat the sun.

The first day of summer is right around the corner, and temperatures are starting to heat up around the country. Unfortunately for many of us that means cranking the AC to stay cool and crying when our utility bills arrive in the mail.

Neutral Living Room With Large Windows and Exposed Beam Ceilings

Modern Open Concept Living Room With Exposed Beam Ceilings

Wall-to-wall windows illuminate this open concept living room with exposed beam ceilings and a Southwestern vibe. A brown leather armchair is positioned next to the wooden coffee table, while the nearby dining room boasts a wooden table and white metal chairs.

Photo by: Jason Roehner

Jason Roehner

In Phoenix, where the summer temps reach triple digits, Cavin and Claire Costello of the architecture firm The Ranch Mine, are designing homes that make keeping cool a bit more of a breeze — without completely shutting out the sun. 

Case in point: the Sol house, a new-construction project by The Ranch Mine located in the Willo Historic District in midtown Phoenix. 

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Here are some of this super-cool home's secrets.

Maximized Airflow

Kitchen With Wooden Cabinets, Exposed Beam Ceiling and Dining Area

Soft Yellow Open Plan Kitchen With Nearby Dining Area

This kitchen features a yellow accent wall and brown wooden cabinets. Blue pendant lights hang above the kitchen island, while the nearby dining area boasts a wooden table. Exposed beam ceilings throughout and countertop succulent plants add a Southwestern feel.

Photo by: Jason Roehner

Jason Roehner

Air movement makes a space feel cooler, even when temperatures remain the same. It's the basic science behind a ceiling fan that's pushing air toward the floor. The effect is even greater when you have a large opening on one end of the flow and a smaller opening on the opposite end.

In the Sol home, the smaller windows, when open, pull air coming in through the sliding doors across the main living space to create a sort of cross breeze. The windows are located on the west side of the home, so keeping them on the smaller side minimizes the amount of afternoon sun entering the home. 

Added Humidity

Pool With Concrete Patio and Exposed Beam Overhang

Modern Pool Area With Exposed Beam Overhang

This stunning pool area features a concrete patio and white stucco overhang with exposed beams. Modern white chairs and a round metal table provide a small outdoor dining area.

Photo by: Jason Roehner

Jason Roehner

If you live in one of the muggier corners of the country, the last thing you want to do is make the summer air more moist. But in the southwest, a little humidity can go a long way to making a living space more comfortable.

The pool in the Sol house courtyard is a great place to jump in for a quick cooldown. But even when it's not in use, the air draws moisture from it just before it's pulled into the home through the open sliding doors. 

Extra Shade

Poolside Dining Area With Tropical City View

Modern Poolside Dining Area With Tropical City View

This picturesque pool area features an intimate dining space with a rectangular stone table and modern white chairs. The exposed beam overhang provides a bit of shade on sunny days, while the city skyline offers the perfect view.

Photo by: Jason Roehner

Jason Roehner

It's no secret that the heat is more tolerable in the shade. Tall trees and porches are traditional ways to create cover from the sun but can often block views of a home's surroundings.

This home is located in the heart of midtown Phoenix and enjoys some sweet city views that the Costellos didn't want to lose with a flat overhang. To offer some shade in the courtyard, they designed a cantilevered roof with an upward tilt that blocks the afternoon sun without ruining the city skyline to the east. 

Cooler Lights

Light and Bright Open Living Area With Poolside View

Light and Bright Open Living Area With Poolside View

Wall-to-wall sliding doors illuminate this open concept living space and perfectly showcase the sprawling outdoor pool area. Exposed beams throughout provide a Southwestern touch, while a rectangular table and bench seat provide a spot for casual dining.

Photo by: Jason Roehner

Jason Roehner

Put your hand next to an incandescent light bulb or even a compact fluorescent and notice how warm the air is around it. Now multiply that by all of the lighting fixtures in your home. Not only is that warmth going into your home's air, its wasted energy that you're paying for in your utility bill.

The living space of the Sol house is lit by LEDs, which emit a fraction of the amount of heat that non-LED lights do and require less energy to operate.  

Ahhhh, I feel more comfortable already. Thanks for the hot look into this cool house, Cavin and Claire!

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