The Australian heat was particularly punishing the past summer, and the coming one might be even hotter. While turning up the air conditioning unit is always an option, there are a few upgrades to your house that can keep it cool during heatwaves.
Wide glass door and windows? More sunlight means more heat. If sunlight is getting into your house — it’s heating your indoors up and bombarding it with harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If your marble counter or some other appliance or furniture is constantly getting hit by the sun, you might have noticed a bit of discolouration. That’s the work of UV — the same UV that causes cancer.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and UV exposure starts at home. Keep the heat and UV out by protecting your windows and doors with UV-filtering film. It can be as dark or as clear as you want, but darker films tend to block more heat. Apart from UV film, get heavy curtains to block the light. With UV protection, you don’t turn your house into a stove and put too much strain on your AC unit.
Proper insulation can keep the heat out while keeping your house cool. In turn, your AC unit won’t work as hard, and your electricity bills won’t go through the roof. You should pay particular attention to your ceiling and attic. Most heat transfer occurs through the ceiling, so proper insulation there should go a long way.
Once you’re done with the ceiling, search for vents or openings that can let in heat and check for gaps in your windows and doors. Insulation can cost a bit, but you’ll make it up through your electric bill savings. Proper insulation can reduce electrical consumption by up to 30 per cent, and that reduction can last for a few years. Your windows and doors should be closed as much as possible if you want to keep the hot air out.
If you prefer to stay outside in the hot weather, building a patio is a good option. Staying outside, exposed to the sun, may leave you sunburnt if you don’t have shade. An insulated patio can protect you from both the heat and UV exposure. You can stay outside for as long as you want. The patio provides an excellent space to entertain guests when the summer heat isn’t so punishing. Spruce it up, add some lighting and you’ll be having cocktails or barbecue with the neighbours. A patio’s roofing will also extend a bit of shade, reducing ambient heat from the ground. Of course, building a patio isn’t an easy project, and the costs can vary depending on how simple or lavish you want it to be. Insulated patio roofing may also have a different cost. But no matter your choice for its roofing or flooring, a patio can add significant space and value to your home.
With summer over, now is the best time to prepare for the next one. Upgrade your house and make it a cooler place for the summer heat.