A few simple and affordable improvements to your home can help keep it cool during summer. Simple changes will also help to keep your home warmer in winter and save you money on heating and cooling.
Hear from local residents who have improved their homes and are taking other steps to keep cool this summer.
All of these changes can be done by purchasing simple items from the hardware store or by arranging a professional. It is important to make any home improvements before summer.
1. External shading
Shading is the best way to stop sun from hitting your windows. Shade your sunniest windows first - these will face north and west.
- DIY blinds can be bought ‘off the shelf’ from your local hardware store in a variety of colours and sizes (blinds generally range in price from $80 to $130 each)
- Heavy duty shade cloth varieties still allow you to see outside but block out the sun
- Retractable or pulley arrangements are available
- A local handyperson could install these for you
- Ensure your blinds are installed to create maximum airflow. See the blind installation diagram that explains this further
2. Draught proofing
Stopping draughts makes a huge difference to keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, as well as helping to keep your energy bills down.
- Draughts exist around doors, windows, fireplaces, vents and come through cracks
- There are many DIY low cost draught proofing products available at your local hardware store
- Alternatively, contact a professional specialising in draught proofing to do an assessment of your home and install quality products
3. Internal curtains and blinds
The next step is to insulate the windows from the inside.
- This can be done with blinds/curtains or removable reflective screens such as Renshade
- A pelmet, a narrow frame to conceal curtain fittings, can also make a big difference. These can be either permanent or removable
A home with good insulation remains cooler for longer in comparison to homes with no insulation.
- A non-insulated roof can allow for 25 per cent of heat gain in a home compared to an insulated roof
- Ceiling insulation is the most important
- If you insulated your home a long time ago, the insulation might have moved or degraded depending on what sort of insulation it is. If you are uncertain about its condition it is worth getting someone to look at it
5. Other Improvements
- If you can shade windows by planting trees or vines or using external shutters or blinds it will make a great difference to how quickly and how much your home heats up
For more information download the Heatwave Help guide.