The summer months can be relentless when it comes to heat, and unfortunately it can be very costly to keep cool if you don’t employ energy efficient tactics for keeping your home at a habitable temperature.
Here are 5 great ways to survive the summer months while minimizing both your sweating and your power consumption.
Shading the Home
Keeping the sun from blaring through your windows during the summer is important if you want to keep the heat out of your home on hot, sunny days. Even with fans or air conditioning, you’ll be fighting a losing battle and wasting precious energy if you’re trying to compete with direct sunlight.
Keeping curtains closed makes the house feel dark and enclosed, and doesn’t effectively combat the heat. Instead, providing shade outside the home so that the sun is reflected before it gets to your windows and walls. Awnings, shade sails or a fence installed where the sun causes you the most trouble will help keep your home cooler.
Better yet, plant deciduous trees/shrubs in front of your house to block the sun in the summer. They will lose their leaves in the colder months, meaning the sun won’t be blocked in the winter, allowing you to make the most of the sun’s natural heat when it’s cold.
Ceiling fans, whole house fans and even pedestal fans are a much more energy efficient way to keep the house cool in summer. If placed correctly they do more than simply circulate hot air; they can draw in cooler air and push hot air out of the home.
Installing insulation in your home reduces heat flow, keeps your home cooler and will allow you to minimise your energy usage in both summer and winter.
Insulation can be installed in ceilings, walls and floors for best results, helping keep the heat outdoors and in the attic rather than heating up the house without resistance. It will also keep the air cool inside if used in conjunction with a cooling system, meaning far less energy must be used to keep the temperature lower in the house.
Most windows have only a single sheet of glass to separate the inside from the outdoors. This gives very little protection against heating of the home in the summer months. Instead, you can opt for double glazing to be installed in your home – this means windows are comprised of two sheets of glass with a space enclosed between. This space creates a gap of air that insulates the home, providing effective protection against heating during summer and heat loss in the winter months.
Much like insulation, this can save homeowners lots of money on power bills and creates a much more energy efficient home.
Upgrade your Air Conditioning
Newer models of air conditioner are far more energy efficient than old systems. Upgrading your system, or at the very least, your compressor, will cost you money now but save you more in the long run, as older systems can be very expensive to run and will drain lots more power.
If you can’t afford an upgrade, have your system checked to make sure there are no holes or separated joints in your ducts, or any leaks or blockages. You can also add insulation around ducts to minimize lost air and wasted power.
Each of these approaches will help you get through summer with as small an impact as possible on the environment and your power bills. When used in conjunction, you’ll be optimising your energy efficiency and keeping your electrical expenses to a minimum.
Written by Emma Jane
Emma is a new mom of two twin boys and has recently built their family home in Brisbane. She recommends Coral Home for the best house plans Brisbane builders have to offer.
Image credit: bossshade.com.au