Here are 6 ways to keep your home cool over the long, hot summer months:
1. Go for easy décor updates
Unless you’re Martha Stewart or Oprah (and have their budgets), a décor update every season is just impossible. But if your home is prone to being hot in summer and cold in winter, it might be a good idea to add one or two interchangeable décor items such as scatter cushions, linen and rugs/mats. For summer seasons, opt for items that evoke a sense of coolness, such as white and creams, grey, mint, sea green, indigo and lilac; in winter you can update these with warmer shades of yellow, brown and red.
2. Cool down from the top-down
If your home is notoriously hot in summer, your black-tiled roof may have something to do with it (remember that dark colours absorb heat). Of course, a white roof isn’t advisable, but shades like terracotta, olive green and charcoal can do wonders to minimise the absorption of heat into your home through your roof. You may also want to check that your roof is well insulated – thermal insulation will drastically reduce the rate at which heat is transferred in summer and prevent the heat from leaving in colder winter months.
3. Routine maintenance
Windows and doors that don’t seal properly can be the biggest sources of heat in summer and cold in winter. Something as simple as installing decent weather-stripping or foam tape will help your home to regulate its temperature a little better.
Another top tip is to change all the standard incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy-saving, low-heat or LED lights – you’ll be surprised what difference the right kind of lights (that emit less energy) can make to your home’s temperature.
Lastly, for those who have air-conditioning at home, make sure that it undergoes a maintenance check every year. This should include cleaning out the filters and checking that the grills aren’t straining to circulate air. The energy your aircon takes to cool one room – especially if it’s not had a service recently – could be the reason why other rooms in your home are hot.
4. Dress those windows
Keeping the heat out can be as easy as getting the right curtains or blinds! A simple upgrade from unlined drapes to block out curtains, or replacing those see-through bamboo blinds to the real deal shutters could already make a huge difference in temperature. Alternatively or additionally, window film will certainly keep the sun’s glaring heat from pervading your home. Importantly, if you can’t afford to dress all your windows in one go, prioritise the south-facing windows first – as these are likely to get the hot afternoon sun.
5. Fan it the right way
Looking for a cost-effective and efficient alternative to air-conditioning? Then a paddle ceiling fan is your answer! The key to making sure it actually makes a difference in your room’s temperature is to run it counter-clockwise (when looking up) – when the fan is set to full speed, this direction will create the most air movement in the centre of the room and, so, give it that cool breeze effect!
6. Go Green
This one takes a little planning and patience before it pays off. But planting sun-loving, shade-providing plants, trees and shrubs in front of windows that receive the hot afternoon sun today, you will be able to block nearly 70% of solar radiation from entering your home by next summer. Plus, it’ll add a lovely landscaping element to your home and up its value too.