If you live in a warm climate, then trying to keep the temperature down will be a constantly struggle and something you're constantly aware of. The main way you might try to do this will probably be through running your air conditioning system and opening windows, but then you'll also likely be aware that these strategies can waste a lot of energy and fill your home with dust and dirt respectively.
Keeping your home cool though isn't just about managing heat when it happens – it's about using the right design in the first place and the right layout to try and minimise the amount of heat that will get absorbed by your property in the first place. Read on for some simple changes you can make right now that will cool your house right down.
Grow Some Tall Trees
If you find your home is particularly hot during certain times of day when it's hit by the sun rising or setting, then a simple solution is to add protection and shade where the sun is getting through. One way to do this is to grow a tall tree in your garden where the sun rises, so that it will cast a shadow over your property. This will prevent the sun from coming through the window, but also reduce the amount of heat your walls absorb thus making your home cooler for the entire rest of the day. It's a simple solution but it can make a huge difference! And if you don't have time to grow a tree, how about just putting up a taller fence? Just remember to tell the neighbours it's not personal…
Another thing that can help is to use blinds in your windows or net curtains. These will act as a second line of defence for all that sun coming through the window by blocking some of the heat and throwing a bit more shadow over your room. This is particularly useful if you struggle with glare often when you're working or watching TV.
Paint Your Walls White
Blinds won't help your walls though, so another change you can make is to paint the exterior of your property white. You'll notice that if you ever stay in a holiday villa it's almost always white. The reason for this is that white is the colour that reflects the greatest spectrum of light back away, which means that less gets absorbed to make your home hotter.
You can do the same thing for your home then, simply by adding a coat of white paint to your property rather than that coat of red.
Add Solar Panels
Solar panels are of course energy efficient because they allow you to convert some of the sun into usable energy for your home, but what many people don't realise is that they're also very efficient in another way – because they absorb light and heat that shines down on your home before it has a chance to get absorbed by your roof. This in turn means that your roof stays shady while that heat gets put to good use. That's doubly efficient!
Allow Space for Airing
You can also make your home cooler on the inside by thinking about your décor and how you lay your home out. Generally the more space you create, the cooler your property will be because the air will have more space to circulate thus cooling the air.
Thus simple things like choosing an open-plan kitchen can make a big difference and help to make your rooms both look and feel much cooler to spend time in. If you have the option, then higher ceilings also make a room much cooler.
What can also help is to avoid soft surfaces such as carpets and wallpaper around your home. These add an extra layer of insulation and absorb more heat yet again, so instead you should opt for cooler surfaces like wooden flooring and tiles for your walls. These are less absorbent and will often be cool themselves, meaning that your property will also feel much cooler as a result.
Make these few changes and you'll find your property becomes instantly much cooler before you even turn on your air conditioning allowing for more comfort and less wasted energy.
This post is contributed by Nancy Baker, a freelance blogger, who is currently writing for Patrizou Construction Group, master home builders in Victoria. She loves to listen to music and also enjoys practising her guitar in her free time. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.