Winter is nearly over and as temperatures are already rising: time to start thinking of all the simple solutions to keep a house cool during the summer months. Air conditioning has always been a very popular option but also has been getting its share of bad press over the last few years: it can actually be harmful to your health when badly maintained, as the contaminated air is recycled and propagated all throughout the house.
- Open at night
While you can be tempted to open all windows during the day in the house and its more summery extensions such as a conservatory, it’s actually better to wait until the sun comes down. From 6pm onwards, temperatures start to cool down and you can create a refreshing draft throughout the house by letting the air in then. Keep the windows closed during the day as much as possible as leaving them open can easily make the temperature rise by 25%.
- Paint your house walls white
Pale exterior walls absorb less heat and will definitely keep the house much cooler. You can opt between white, pale yellow, beige and light grey exterior wall coating depending on your chosen look.
- Green roofing
Green roofing is a fairly new trend in eco-conscious home design as we’re all moving towards greener home solutions. Layers of living vegetation are installed on top of a house or building and act as a naturally isolating barrier against the heat. DIY green roofing is possible, although it is always better to ask for a professional’s advice to avoid structural issues and collapsing.
- Cook at night
Whenever you can, avoid using the oven during the day. You can get any food prep that needs to get done in the evening for the day after or try and cook your meal before noon – the hottest time of the day.
All electronic devices produce heat and should be unplugged whenever possible. You should also try and replace any ordinary light bulbs with LED lights which emit less energy and heat.
- Check your attic insulation
For best performance both in winter and summer, the insulation fiber that’s used in the attic should ideally have a R- 60 value per inch. Most of the time, you can get away with a R-30 value, but if you feel the need to beef up the insulation in the attic, R-60 is definitely the way to go.
- Ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are a more ecological alternative to air conditioning whenever it gets a little too much. Opt for newer models that use up less energy and will be easier on the purse too.