Should blinds match wall colour? If you are redecorating or establishing a new home this…
It’s summertime and one of the most challenging aspects of the season is how to keep cool and not break the budget on the energy required to run the aircon. Don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing quite like sitting by the pool with your favourite refreshment watching the kids have a great time cooling down AND getting some much-needed outside time!
It’s just that the need for air-conditioning increases throughout the summer and you may just be budget conscious and planet conscious like we are. So, we thought we’d put together some ways you can make your home more energy efficient for the summer.
1. Shade the outside of your home.
If you live in a newly developed area, it’s highly likely that the trees around your streets are yet to grow enough to be helpful for shade in summer. One of the best ways to make sure your home is more efficient for cooling is to shade as many hard surfaces around your home as possible. Planting trees, bushes or vines in strategic areas around the home can increase cooling efficiencies by 90%.
You can also achieve shading by creating ‘man-made’ shade through awnings and shutters.
2. Prevent airflow around windows.
If you live in a climate where the humidity is such that you need to use refrigerative or reverse-cycle air conditioning a great tip is to make sure your windows are fully sealed.
Using caulking or weatherstripping is an inexpensive way to ensure that the cool air inside your home is not escaping to the Great Hot Outdoors!
3. Block Drafts and Sunlight.
Now here’s where the interior of your home comes in and you may need to consider a little re-design of your window treatments.
If you don’t have blinds, shutters or curtains on your windows you may want to consider investing in some! Blocking the harsh summer rays from bearing down on your home has a number of benefits. It protects your floors and furnishings from harmful UV rays and it also stops your rooms from heating up too fast. Don’t forget if you live in a location where it gets very cold and very hot – doubling up on your window treatments is a good idea. In the milder months, you can use a simple blind for the window but in harsher temperatures, the added curtains can help with both drafts and heat.
There’s also window film you can put on your windows to help with the glare.
Maybe you’ve always loved the look of shutters. Adding shutters to either the inside or the outside of your house could cut your power bill for cooling dramatically. It all depends on how much of a makeover you want to invest in.
4. Consider Size and Orientation of Windows.
If you are building or renovating your home – consider how big your windows will be and where they will be in relation to the sun. There are a number of aspects to be considered in this case. The summer and winter track of the sun. How your house sits on your block in relation to the sun’s path through the sky and exactly how you will heat and cool your home. If you are building or renovating, you may even want to consider double or triple glazing in areas with harsher climate swings. It will cost more in the initial stages but save so much more if you’re planning to stay put long term.