Summer is just around the corner. If you’re wondering how you will keep the family cool as the mercury rises without blowing your energy bills, this article shares a few simple tips to keep your home cool and comfortable this summer without rushing off to buy an air conditioner.
Seal gaps around windows & doors
Many people think of winter and draught prevention when it comes to sealing gaps in the home. However, gaps around windows and doors can also let cool air escape and hot air in to your home, so sealing them prevents this.
Update your window furnishings
Did you know that glass lets in an enormous amount of heat and also allows cool air to escape? Opt for natural fibres and consider full solar blackout backings on curtains and a sheer layer for temperature control.
Blinds with solar block-out and exterior screens and blinds are also very effective for heat control.
Creating shade around the perimeter of your home, especially in areas facing the sun when it is at its hottest, is another great way to keep the heat at bay. Shade sails are great because they can be removed in winter when you want to attract more sun. Deciduous vines are also great for this purpose. They will reduce the heat in summer but allow the warmth and light inside when they drop their leaves in winter.
Learn when to open windows & when to shut them
It’s best to shut windows, curtains and blinds on hot summer days to prevent the heat from entering your home and open them in the evening to welcome in those cooler evening breezes.
If the budget permits, double-glazing will help to keep your house even cooler. Check the rating of any windows you buy – Australian windows are rated for thermal efficiency by the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS). Even the choice of window frame will affect temperatures. Timber and PVC frames can offer great thermal protection, but aluminium windows, which are generally a cheaper option, are now available with improved thermal performance.
Thermal mass is material, like concrete, brick or stone, which can absorb and store heat. Brick walls and concrete floors are good examples of thermal mass. Naturally, this is one to consider if you are renovating.
Good insulation is one of the most effective ways we can keep our homes cool, and this isn’t something that only applies to new homes and renovations – existing homes can benefit from retrofitting with good insulation.
Install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans come in all shapes, sizes and styles to suit any decor. They provide cooling at a fraction of the cost of other methods.
So keep your cool this summer and minimise your energy consumption by following some or all of the tips in this article.