As another intense Australian summer is on the horizon, many homeowners are considering how to beat the heat. If you’ve just bought a new property, you’ll need to quickly assess your needs and prepare for the coming months. Instead of ramping up your energy consumption with fans or air conditioners, take some sustainable action and consider long-term solutions.
Take a look at your window orientation
In order to come up with an effective strategy, you’ll first need to assess the orientation of windows throughout the home. North, east and west facing windows are the ones that will be exposed to direct sunlight, so you’ll want to focus on these areas. Once you have the orientation, you’ll also want to consider the size of the windows and where you spend the most time. For example, you may want to tackle large living room windows first.
The right window coverings are essential
Sometimes you won’t want to make a decision before you see just how hot your property gets in the summer. However, it’s possible to do protection in stages and getting quality window coverings are a great place to start. Bare windows can let in a lot of heat – especially those that receive direct sunlight.
Window coverings that can be used during the day will reduce your need for other climate control methods. Consider day and night blinds. Day blinds will block the heat and UV while still allowing light to come into the room. You’ll still be able to see outside with these blinds and they’ll offer an added benefit of privacy as well.
Add extra protection with shutters, awnings or verandahs
The height and angle of the sun changes with the seasons. During summer, the sun is at its highest and so horizontal or external protection may offer better climate control as it will prevent the heat from hitting your windows. For apartments, eaves may be enough to offer shade. For houses, you may want to consider adjustable solutions such as awnings and shutters or a more permanent solution for larger spaces such as a verandah.
Seal up any cracks
Sealing up any draughts will prevent warm air from entering your home as much as possible. Fortunately, this is often easy enough to complete yourself with supplies from a hardware store. This may be adding weather stripping around doors or using gap filler around windows.
Ventilation is still important
While blocking hot air from entering is important during the day, it’s still necessary to let some ventilation in once a cool change hits or later in the evening when the sun has set. This will help expel any warm air that has built up and allow cool air to replace it. Ventilation not only helps regulate the temperature; it will also reduce condensation that’s often responsible for mould.
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