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Summer is Coming! Get your home ready to stay cool:)

by Sebastian Crangle

For those of us who don't live in homes designed from the outset for energy efficiency

There are actions we can take to prevent them from:
a)  becoming uncomfortably hot in summer,
and/or
b)  needing large amounts of energy to keep them cool.
Creating an energy-efficient home calls for measures beyond typical air-conditioning and fans.  Keeping the heat out of your home is better than cooling your house, both financially and environmentally.  Some improvements you can make are seasonal.
In our own house, these are the steps I take in Spring to convert it from a 'winter house' to a 'summer house':

1.  Re-erecting a shade sail over the deck (I take it down over winter to let the warmth in)
☀️2.  Covering skylights with reflective blinds
☀️3.  Check that external blinds are in working order
☀️4.  Unblocking roof ventilation fans (a powered 'Whirligig' that I block in winter to prevent draughts & loss of heat)
☀️
These are all ways to reduce how much heat - including direct sunlight - gets into our house in the hotter months.

There are more permanent actions you can take

Some examples of improvements you can make to your home's thermal performance in both hot and cold weather."
☀️1.  Grow deciduous trees or vines to shade western walls;
☀️2.  Add insulation to ceiling cavities, under floors and into wall cavities;
☀️3.  Install retractable external awnings/blinds to windows facing east, west and north (some look quite stylish and allow you to still see out)
☀️4.  Install 'whirlygigs' to rooves, preferably powered or solar ones
☀️5.  If you have AC sealing draughts around doors and windows and inbetween floorboards is very beneficial. (If you don't have AC this isn't so necessary but you will appreciate the reduced drafts come winter).
The most effective actions vary drastically from property to property, depending on the shortfalls in its design or building materials.
But take heart, you can overcome those shortfalls and make your home a more comfortable, healthier, less expensive place to live, with a smaller carbon footprint.🌞

Getting Professional Help

If you live in Northern NSW (Byron, Ballina, Tweed or Richmond Shires) and would like professional help to make your house cooler in summer (while using less energy/carbon), I provide a range of services: 
✅home energy assessments that identify what your home needs (including National Scorecard Assessments),
✅ insulation and draught-proofing.
✅For more details and indicative pricing, pls go to the Services tab on my Facebook Page
✅And if you haven't already, please Like and Follow my Page for ongoing tips, case studies and ideas😊
Sebastian Crangle is a professional Home Energy Effiency Specialist and a valuable volunteer in the Zero Emissions  Byron Buildings Team.  You can read more about Seb including accessing his step by step guide to retrofitting his granny flat for maximum energy efficiency here.

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