Undervalued Factors that can Improve your Home’s Ability to Stay Cool
Struggling with the heat this summer? While the season is coming to an end, NSW and Victoria are still in the midst of a serious heat wave that is breaking temperature records across the board. While it can take a toll on our own well being, trying to keep your house cool under these conditions can be quite difficult, especially if it isn’t as energy efficient as it could be.
Not to mention, it’s likely costing you an arm and a leg too. Let’s take a look at a few tips that you might not have you give your house the best chance of staying cool and even contribute to your home energy rating.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Trees
Obviously, this isn’t a short-term solution, but the extent to which strategically planted a tree around your home can increase energy efficiency needs to be mentioned. It makes sense that the shade of a tree will help keep your home cool, but it depends greatly on the side of your house that it sits on.
Studies show that a tree on the east side of your house has little effect on your energy use, while the same tree on the west side can reduce carbon emission in summer by up to 30%. Homes with vines covering part of the exterior walls also help a lot and provide make it more difficult for the heat to enter.
Consider Using Awnings
If you have an outdoor entertaining area, some sort of cover is really a must, particularly if you live in a hotter climate. Not only will the shade produced by relatively inexpensive awnings protect your furniture from the sun, but they can also be used to great effect on the south and west-facing windows.
They act to reduce the amount of heat that is able to enter through windows and doors, accounting for a reduction in cooling energy of 25%-30% when used effectively. Retractable awnings are also available these days, reducing their impact on heat reduction in the winter.
Ceiling Fans Actually Help
They’re simple and low tech, but ceiling fans are often under-appreciated in terms of how much cooler they can make us. True, they’re not going to move the needle a huge amount in terms of how energy efficient your home is and they aren’t a big picture solution if you have a considerably expensive house to cool. But they are cheap and they make you feel cooler, which can indirectly lead to considerable savings and is ultimately your main goal.
The stagnant air feels warmer and when the air is moving, it tends to evaporate moisture from your skin more quickly, which cools you down. While you should always turn them off when you’re not using the room, they are well worth having in your home.
An Outdoor Kitchen would be an Excellent Idea
One of the best ways to keep your home warmer during the winter months is to open up the kitchen doors and leave your oven open after you’ve used it, letting the heat move around the house as much as possible. Predictably, this works the other way around in the hot weather.
It’s a fact that grilling your meals rather than using the oven can be a great way to conserve energy in cooling the house afterward, but cooking outside is an even better option. Even if you don’t have an outdoor kitchen (as most of us don’t) making good use of your barbecue on those hot days is a winning move.
While some of these considerations are overlooked, they can contribute to your house energy rating and certainly make a difference! If you’re looking for professional advice on how to make your home more energy efficient, in terms of heating, cooling and another day to day energy-use, Superior Energy Rating can help. Contact us today to find out more.