Green: Cool your home in summer

Green: Cool your home in summer

Oct 24, 2008

To build on from Bethz's easy sustainable living tips, we have a post for all the southern hemisphere readers. With summer nearly here, its time to think about how you are going to keep cool at home, especially on those 30+ (celsius) days. Prepare now by implementing some of the strategies below and you could reduce heat gain through windows by 80% when the hot days come. This will help save energy use and cut back your power bills.

Before you hit the air con button, see if you can implement some of these strategies for reducing the heat that comes through your windows.

Create external shades

  • Install awnings on north, west and east facing windows to reduce heat from direct sunlight.
  • Fit north-facing windows with eaves or adjustable pergolas designed to allow low winter sun in to warm your home but keep out the summer sun.
  • Use plants to block summer sun. Deciduous trees and pergola vines on the east and west sides of your home will still let in winter sun.

Use window dressing

  • Draw curtains and blinds and close doors and windows to stay cooler on hot days.
  • Fit lined curtains or Holland and Roman blinds to reduce heat gain.
  • Use tinting or reflective films on large unshaded east and west facing windows and roof glass to avoid overheating in summer. This will, however, reduce the benefit of the sun in winter.

Take care with skylights

  • Cover skylights with shutters, blinds or shade cloth on hot days.
  • Install tubular skylights on south-facing roofs to brighten your home without heating it in the process.

Reduce your reliance on air conditioning

  • Buy high-rated ceiling insulation to help keep your home cool.
  • Use ceiling and portable fans in preference to air con.
  • When temperatures fall overnight, open doors, windows and dampeners on fireplaces to vent hot air and cool your home naturally.

This advice comes from resourceSmart, a great source of information for greener living.

Can you add any environmentally friendly ways to keep your home cool this summer?

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