For those of us who don’t live in homes designed from the outset for energy efficiency, there are actions we can take to prevent them from:
A.) becoming uncomfortably hot in summer,
B.) needing large amounts of energy to keep them cool.
Creating an energy-efficient home calls for measures beyond typical air-conditioning and fans. Keeping the heat out of your home is better than cooling your house, both financially and environmentally.
Some improvements you can make are seasonal.
In our own house, these are the steps I take in Spring to convert it from a ‘winter house’ to a ‘summer house’:
Re-erecting a shade sail over the deck (I take it down over winter to let the warmth in)
Covering skylights with reflective blinds
Check that external blinds are in working order
Unblocking roof ventilation fans (a powered ‘Whirligig’ that I block in winter to prevent draughts & loss of heat)
These are all ways to reduce how much heat – including direct sunlight – gets into our house in the hotter months.
There are other more permanent actions you can take – that once done improve the home’s thermal performance in both hot and cold weather. Some examples:
growing deciduous trees or vines to shade western walls,
adding insulation to ceiling cavities, under floors and into wall cavities
installing retractable external awnings/blinds to windows facing east, west and north (some look quite stylish and allow you to still see out
adding ‘whirlygigs’ to rooves, preferably powered or solar ones
if you have AC: sealing draughts around doors and windows, or through floorboards. (If you don’t have AC this isn’t so necessary).
The most effective actions vary drastically from property to property, depending on the shortfalls in its design or building materials.
But take heart, you can overcome those shortfalls and make your home a more comfortable, healthier, less expensive place to live, with a smaller carbon footprint
GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP:
If you live in Northern NSW (Byron, Ballina, Tweed or Richmond Shires) and would like professional help to make your house cooler in summer (while using less energy/carbon), I provide a range of services:
home energy assessments that identify what your home needs (including National Scorecard Assessments),
insulation and draught-proofing.
For more details and indicative pricing, pls go to the Services tab on my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SaveEnergywithSeb/services
And if you haven’t already, please Like and Follow my Page for ongoing tips, case studies and ideas.