How to Keep Your Home Cool as the Weather Warms Up
The countdown to summer is on as the weather warms up, the days get longer and kitchens in Sydney enjoy more sunlight. But to keep those electricity costs down, it’s time to consider how passive cooling can help to reduce your reliance on the air-conditioning during the warmer months.
Passive cooling refers to any way of reducing heat in the home that doesn’t rely on energy input and is important in reducing both your bills and our environmental impact.
Here are our top tips to keep your home cool during the warmer weather.
1. Upgrade your window coverings
Curtains, shutters and blinds don’t just add to the style of a room; but they also play an important role in regulating temperature, year-round.
Harsh sunlight can prematurely weather timber, fade fabrics and raise the overall temperature of your kitchen in Sydney, so moderating this with the right window covering will still allow in that all-important light while protecting your kitchen.
Plantation shutters are one of the most popular treatments in warmer climates for their flexibility; offering control over how much light and outside air you let into the space.
Blinds give you the same level of light control, but mean you can allow in full light without circulating the hot air.
Thick curtains may seem like a good option for blocking out light and heat, but these materials might not hang as nicely as a medium-density fabric. Make sure you opt for a curtain with a good-quality lining to avoid over-insulating the room.
2. Give your home a new coat of paint
If the exterior of your home could do with a fresh coat of paint, you can kill two birds with one stone and help protect your home from unwanted extra heat as well.
As a general rule of thumb, light, bright colours will reflect the sun, while darker shades will absorb its heat. If your house is painted in a darker colour, you could unknowingly be creating a hotbox every summer.
As an exterior colour is, quite literally, a large commitment, take home some sample pots and paint some patches around your house in areas that receive different amounts of sunlight. This way, you’ll be able to see how the colour translates in different levels of natural light, to make sure you’re happy with the final product.
3. Opt for cool flooring
Flooring occupies such a large part of your home’s footprint, and is one of the most common culprits of an overheated house.
More likely to hold onto heat, surfaces like tile and polished concrete can bump up the internal temperature of your house by a few degrees thanks to their high thermal mass.
Timber, on the other hand, has a low thermal mass (i.e. it doesn’t really absorb or hold heat like tile) and can help to maintain a more consistent temperature throughout your home.
It’s a great choice for kitchens in Sydney where the cooking process can heat up the room fairly quickly – the last thing you want is for that heat to then linger through the floor.
4. Create shade with greenery
Plant lovers, rejoice – adding more greenery both in and around your house can help to fight heat.
Outdoors, planting deciduous trees near north-facing windows means that their leaves will help to diffuse the sun’s heat during summer; without blocking the natural light when the weather cools down, as this coincides with when they lose their leaves.
Trees and plants go through a process called transpiration in warm weather where they release excess water through their leaves. In doing so, plants not only cool themselves but the surrounding environment, too.
Filling your home with plants like palms, weeping figs, snake plants, rubber plants and ficus can help you to use this process to your advantage and keep your home cool.