Summer is fast approaching and it’s time to start thinking about solutions to keep your home cool and comfortable indoors during those blazing hot days. There are scores of options for keeping things cool. Some are quick and cheap fixes while others can be more involved and costly.
Installing an air conditioner might seem like the most obvious choice but with South Africa’s soaring electricity costs, this won’t be the most wallet friendly solution for most.
Fans don’t use as much electricity and keep air circulating. A ceiling or standing fan will help to make your home’s rooms feel a couple of degrees cooler.
Inside your home
The most successful way to keep a house cool is to keep the heat out. One of the most easy and effective changes to make is to use light coloured curtains at your windows. The old science lesson of light colours reflecting heat while darker colours attract heat is good to remember while looking at curtains for sale. Also consider layering blinds - light coloured of course - inside your windows to add another layer of sun protection.
Don’t forget that some heat is coming from inside your house. Minimise the use of appliances and lights during the day. And this will come as a welcome tip to most - make sure to avoid cooking during the hottest hours of the day.
As a long-term solution, consider insulating the ceiling of your home. This could be a costly upgrade but will make the inside of your home feel so much cooler and add to its resale value. The added bonus is added insulation will also help to keep your home warm during winter.
Try where possible to leave your home’s windows open, particularly during the early evening, night and morning, to ensure cooler air filters inside. Shades and awnings added to your home’s exterior will assist to keep the sunlight’s heat and glare away from your windows. Now is a great time to plant plenty of plants and trees outside - but make sure they won’t need too much water. As these grow, they’ll help to keep the interior of your home cool as well as provide a shady spot to lounge during long summer evenings.
If the exterior of your home is in need of a makeover, the cooler spring months are a great time to do just that. Paint your outside walls and roof in light colours, or even reflective paint, to reflect sunlight away from your home. And remember, all summer heat isn’t bad. The washing you’ll hang on the line outside will be dry in no time.
Article written by Chantel Harris