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Summer in South East Queensland presents many challenges when it comes to keeping cool at home. And for some, air conditioning is simply not an affordable option – especially with soaring electricity prices. So, here are some helpful tips for keeping your cool in the summer heat. As you can see, there are still lots of ways to protect your home from the heat, without blowing your budget.
Did you know that most heat in your home is transferred through the roof? Roof and wall insulation are a must to keep your house cool. Insulation acts as a barrier, so the heat doesn’t transfer to your home’s interior. It also pays to choose a light coloured roof that will reflect the heat, rather than absorb it. Have you ever gone out in the sun wearing black and felt like you were melting? Or thought about why solar panels are black? It’s because black objects absorb heat. A lighter coloured roof means a cooler home.
Eaves and awnings provide valuable shade for walls and windows in summer. Awnings are an effective way to keep the sun off glass windows and doors, when you consider that a window being hit by full sun can give off as much heat as a small radiator!
Up to 30% of heat actually comes through your windows. By installing awnings, curtains and blinds, you can save power and reduce the temperature considerably. Closing the blinds and curtains prevents your home from becoming a greenhouse, especially if your home faces west. You may also like to consider blackout curtains or blinds which block the sunlight and naturally insulate the room, reducing heat by up to one third. Simply closing your blinds from late morning until early evening can keep your home a few degrees cooler. And every little bit helps!
Close off rooms that aren’t being used, and focus on cooling the rooms that you are using. Targeting a smaller area with fans and air conditioning uses a lot less energy than cooling your whole home.
Remember to turn on your kitchen rangehood and bathroom exhaust fans to get rid of hot, humid air. They will suck out the hot air that rises after you cook or take a shower, helping to reduce the temperature inside your home.
There’s no doubt that using your oven or stove in summer will make your house much hotter. Try to plan your meals, so you don’t need to use the oven during the day. Either cook on the barbecue, in the microwave, or use a slow cooker. If you have to use the oven, try to cook before noon or later on when the heat of the day has gone.
Try to minimise the use of household appliances on hot days, as many of them produce heat as they operate. Washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers should be used at night, when it’s cooler. Electricity tariffs are often cheaper at night too!
Plants can provide much needed shade for your home – while installing garden beds instead of paving reduces reflected sunlight. Planting large trees to the west will help block the harsh afternoon sun. Of course, this takes time and a little bit of planning, but will eventually provide much needed shade. A mature tree can block over 70% of heat entering your home. Plants can also cool breezes, as they pass through their foliage.
The simplest way to keep your air conditioning in top working order is to regularly clean the filter. Designed to trap dirt, dust and other airborne particles, clean filters ensure a constant airflow. Remember, you should clean your filter at least once a year. Unchanged filters often get clogged with debris reducing airflow to a minimum, and causing your air conditioning to run less efficiently.
Always take advantage of daylight and use energy efficient light bulbs such as LEDs in high use areas. Also, consider using lighter colours inside your home. Light colours reflect more light and reduce your need for extra task lighting – thus generating less heat.
Ask about Hallmark Homes’ cool designs.
Hallmark’s flexible, open plan home designs encourage natural airflow throughout, making it easier to keep your cool in summer. We also offer an extensive selection of energy efficient cooling options including ceiling fans and air conditioning.
If you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, the team at Hallmark Homes is ready to help. Come and check them out for yourself at one of our display centres. If you have any questions about our home designs or house and land packages, please contact us today.