Summer is just around the corner and with temperatures hitting above 40 degrees in Western Australia, it’s becoming even more essential to weather proof our homes in order to stay cool.
Keeping cool isn’t the only priority in summer though – the struggle to cut power costs and save on energy is increasingly difficult as we crank the air conditioning to prevent melting in a heap. There are ways, however, to fight the battle with our Australian heat and ease the pressure on your wallet a little. We look into a few great tips to stop you sizzling in your home this summer.
Install Blockout or Sunscreen Roller Blinds
Of course, the first thing we would suggest is to get your window treatments right for optimum sun protection and energy efficiency. Regardless of whether you have curtains or blinds, it’s ideal to keep them closed in the heat of the day or whilst the room isn’t occupied for your home to stay cool. Whilst all curtains and blinds offer some shelter against sunlight and savings on energy costs, thermally coated blockout blinds provide great protection from the sun’s harsh rays and heat.
Sunscreen roller blinds can also be used to protect against UV rays, while still allowing you to enjoy the view from your window, as they are made from a synthetic UV protective mesh material. These can be used alongside curtains to provide shade during the day, while the curtains provide privacy at night.
Reduce Your Appliance Usage – Is it Really Necessary?
Obvious appliances like ovens give off a lot of heat and using it every day can warm up your home super quickly. Summer months are BBQ weather for a reason, and using your BBQ more often can reduce the heat in your home significantly.
Consider using other appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine at night to save on energy and money. Unless it’s a must, stay away from using the clothes dryer and opt for a drying rack inside or on the outside line in the sun.
Maintain Your Ceiling Fans
Most of us are aware that changing the filters in your air conditioning will help the cool air flow better, but very few of us would think to maintain our ceiling fans.
In winter and summer, ceiling fans should run in different directions. Changing your ceiling’s fan direction to counter-clockwise can do wonders for the amount of cool air that becomes available in your home, as the airflow is sent down to produce a wind-chill effect. Most fan models have a switch above the light fixture to change blade directions. Remember – fans don’t lower room temperature they just cool your skin so leaving them on during the day when you’re not home won’t help in anyway.
A Change of Light
In the lead up to the warmer months, it’s a good idea to review what light bulbs your home is using. Light bulbs are one of the leading heat factors – not to mention the amount of energy some of them can use leaving you with a pretty painful power bill.
Consider changing to florescent light bulbs; they last longer, use less energy and are typically cooler than traditional lighting.
And of course there is improved natural light in the summer months, so keep your blinds raised and make greater use of airy sheer curtains to reduce the need for artificial light and let the sun brighten your home.