Long before your first night in your new Rainier Yurt, you will want to consider how to keep it cooler in the summer months. It is a common misconception that you should concentrate on the cold weather when placing your order. I say quite the opposite!
Unless you are fortunate enough to be able to place your yurt under the canopy of tall trees, or have a large tree on your southwest elevation, you will have to design your yurt to perform better in direct sunshine.
Here are some of the steps you can take:
- Choose a lighter roof color
- Go with a thicker roof weight
- Select a lighter color on the side wall (Eggshell on the Eagle and Almond on the Raven are my recommendations)
- Reduce UV exposure by choosing a tinted dome
- Let the warm air out with an opening and adjustable dome
- Reduce the sun’s rays with a screen for the dome
- Opt for opening windows
- Position windows for cross-ventilation
- Put double insulation in the roof (typically single in the sidewall will be enough)
- Add an awning over the door if the door has glass in it
- Position your door to the north – if possible
- Use an AC unit, such as the Mitsubishi Mini-Split (research the correct BTUs for the size yurt you have)
- Install a ceiling fan – remember to include a ceiling fan bracket in your Rainier yurt order
A combination of these upgrades will help to keep you cool.
Real Yurt Dwellers’ Stories
A couple of years ago I helped a young couple with their yurt order. They were all ready to place their order whey I noticed their color selection. They had selected Timber for the upper wall and Slate Gray for the lower wall of their 30’ diameter Eagle Yurt. I called and counseled them on the effects of darker hues and heat gain. I assured them that an Eggshell upper wall would be much more suitable in their three-digit temperature summers.
“No, we are in love with that color combination!” they said. After three days encouraging them to research the heat gain from saturated colors, they placed their order with Timber on the upper wall and Slate Gray on the lower wall.
I was really bummed when I entered their order – because I knew that they would be unhappy when it got warm out. But they couldn’t be talked out of it. About three months after their yurt was up and they had been living full time in it they called me and said, “boy, it gets really hot in here in the afternoon!” They tried installing a ceiling fan, and finally resorted to an AC unit. Something they probably could have avoided if they had done their research or taken my advice.
Graciela, our fabulous manager in the fabric shop, one day turned to me and said, “wow, we sure do a lot of the Eggshell/Slate Gray color combinations on the Eagle yurts.” I laughed and said, “well, that might be me ‘driving the bus!’” Customers will often ask for my advice and even ask what my favorite color combination is … which is Eggshell and Slate Gray! In fact, Eggshell is the #1 upper wall color. It really doesn’t matter what the lower wall color is. It mostly depends on your deck color, personal preference, soil color, or matching to something else.
I recommended to another customer who had a year-round warmth issue to consider a tinted dome. They were really against it because they liked to star gaze at night from their bed. I can appreciate that – nothing is better than lying on your back watching the stars — unless it’s 99 degrees in your bedroom because your yurt overheats! After much discussion, the customer decided to go for the tinted dome so that the yurt would consistently stay cooler and opted to star gaze from the yurt deck just before to going to sleep.
If you need help deciding on what you need to keep your yurt cooler in the warm weather – give me a call. I would be happy to walk through it with you.