Keep your home cool this Summer – Without Air Conditioning

Posted: Nov 06 2014

Energy Efficient ways to keep your home cool this Summer

Use Block-out fabric on curtains or blinds
One of the most important factors in keeping the heat out of your home, is to reduce heat
transfer from the windows to the internal spacing. The less contact the window glass has
with direct sunlight – the better. However, this is not always possible and certainly not
ideal in Winter. So a semi permanent method to get around this, is to use curtains or blinds
with a block out lining on the reverse.

Damasque pattern from Choice Blinds

When kept closed, the block out / curtains blinds significantly reduce the amount of
heat transfer. The trick is to close as before the sun comes around and has direct contact
with your window. Less direct contact = Less internal heat.

There are endless numbers of companies specialising in window furnishings and blinds,
however one I particular has caught our eye – choice Blinds in Sydney. We absolutely love
the wide range available of curtains and blinds at Choice blinds (there’s no question as to
why they call it 'Choice Blinds’). Being a family run business, they feel a real need to look
after their customers and offer honest advice (not to mention free measure and quote).

There is a beautiful range of curtain fabrics and blinds available, far more variety than your
stock standard white, grey, beige and black.

Chic selection from Choice Blinds 

Pelmets
Pelmets are an essential for keeping the Winter Heat in and the Summer heat out.
During a hot Summer’s day the heat from outside will attempt to move through the windows
and any gaps into your home. The outside air warms the window glass which then affects
the ‘inside air’ as it’s in direct contact with the glass (the inside air being between the curtain
and the window surface). As the inside air is heated, it rises and make its way into the house.

A pelmet in place will create a barrier at the top, pushing the hot air back down to the floor,
which loses its heat once it is no longer in contact with the glass.
 
Planter boxes in front of windows
If you have large windows with a paved or tiled area just outside, it’s worth considering using
potted plants or planter boxes strategically placed in front of them. This will help deflect the
summer heat that permeates from the hard surface outside. Planter boxes need not be
traditional cottage-like boxes, if chic and modern is your thing.

They can be worked in with your current landscaping – we especially love what Deckscape 
have done – they’ve incorporated planter boxes into an outdoor deck – marvellous!
You could also trying making your own planter box by following these steps from Bunnings.


 

Ceiling fans
The running cost of a ceiling fan can be as little as 3c per hour in comparison to an
estimated $2 per hour ducted air conditioning. Gone are the days where ceiling fans were
the ugly elephant in the room. There are just so many styles and sizes available these days
to suit almost any interior!

A place that we found as a great starting point was Beacon Lighting. 
They have a huge range of ceiling fans and affordable pricing – there’s even a fan with retractable blades! 
The staff we've met have always been friendly and willing to help (bonus points).
There’s even a large selection of energy efficient globes if you need to top up while you’re there!


Ceiling fan with retractable blades

The Dark brown Artemi Fan has a sculptural quality
 
The most important of all tip of all: Insulate insulate insulate!
If you are building a new home or renovating, insulating it correctly should
be on the mandatory list. Thermal insulation batts can be installed within wall
cavities and above the ceiling. The thermal insulation rating for residential
insulation batts is a rating of R1-1.5. To use as a comparison, saki in a roof
provides approx 0.5 insulation protection, so in effect wall cavity insulation is
DOUBLE – TRIPLE that. Speaking from experience, we’ve installed thermal
insulation in our external wall cavities and during summer there is a whopping
10 degree difference between the outside temperature and indoor
temperature – with no use of air conditioning.
 
If you can afford to, it’s worthwhile using thermal WITH acoustic insulation.
This is a denser material and reduces noise between rooms and from outside
 – however it is more expensive. This is perfect for family homes, double storey’s
or homes located ear busy traffic areas. If you’d like more information on
buying insulation, why not chat to the team at Bradfords - hop online and check
out their product selector.

We hope you've found this helpful and can look forward to an 'energy efficient Summer!'
Visit our online store www.jasperandeve.com.au for environmentally friendly homewares.

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