One of those benefits rests on the belief that stone houses are warm in winter and cool in summer. But are stone houses cooler in summer? In general, the answer is ‘yes’. But this depends on the type of stone, construction and the location.
Like anything, the answer is a little more complicated. Let’s look at this in more detail.
What Makes Stone Houses Cooler in the Summer?
We want our houses to stay warm in the winter to reduce our heating bills and cool in the summer so we have somewhere to escape when the temperature soars. But there are a variety of factors that can affect whether a stone cottage stays cool in the summer.
Let’s look at the main factors that can affect this:
Like any home, the construction of the house is central to whether its natural insulation works in the home owner’s favour. And the quality of the construction of a stone cottage is no exception.
A home needs to be well-ventilated to avoid damp. But if the stone’s rendering or mortar has been poorly applied or has not been well maintained then heat will find a way into the interior of your property in the summer months just as easily as you’ll lose it in winter.
The answer is to check your stone rendering and mortar. Make sure that the only holes are the ones intentionally constructed for ventilation.
Bonus tip: Even if your stone walls are well insulated they can be let down by your roof. The roof of a stone house is another key place that will allow heat into your property if it is not well insulated.
Type of Stone
All stone is porous to some degree, and if your house is constructed of more porous stone, then this will create a better in-route for the summer heat.
Don’t despair, though, because even if the stone walls of your home are thin or they are made of more porous stone, adding extra insulation will control the temperature of your stone walls more effectively.
Less porous stone, like granite, is going to warm incredibly slowly and so is far more likely to make your home a cool oasis come mid-summer.
The Location of Your Stone House
Even if your home has wonderfully thick stone walls and is appropriately ventilated and insulated, you may still find it warms uncomfortably in summer. If this is the case, your stone house may be in a climate where the temperature is against you.
Stone can retain heat due to its thermal mass (the ability of an item to store heat). But its ability to stay cool depends on how hot it is going to get during the day compared to the drop in temperature overnight.
If the stone has a chance to cool significantly overnight then the heat stored in the stone during the day will reduce significantly by morning.
If you’re in a climate where the drop in temperature overnight is noticeable, then your stone home will retain the chill nighttime temperature into the growing heat of the day, keeping your interior cooler than outside.
Of course, this means that if the temperatures in your area don’t drop significantly overnight, your stone home won’t lose the heat it has built up during the day as easily.
In this case, the stone in your home will hold onto the heat much more readily, especially if you have thick walls and less porous stone.
Luckily for those living in most areas of the UK, temperatures only reach uncomfortable levels of heat during a few weeks or months of the year.
This means even if you live in the south where temperatures fluctuate less in summer, its likely your stone house will keep you cooler than most homes even during the warmest months of the year.
So is the final answer to our question: ‘are stone houses cooler in the summer months’ yes, no or maybe?
Our answer is: probably.