Smart ways to keep your home cool in summer

Published on 16 January 2023

Image of an apartment featuring a tree in the foreground

Take a look at these tips from City of Ryde Home Waste & Sustainability Officer, Elizabeth Pearce, to help you keep your home cool during summer.

Good Insulation and Sealing

A well-insulated and sealed home keeps the cool air in and the warm air out on a hot summer day. Check your roof for a R-value of at least R4.1 and preferably R5.0 – this alone can reduce your home cooling and heating costs by hundreds of dollars a year.

Block out the summer sun

Stop hot summer sun radiating into your home by blocking it from your windows. North facing windows can be shaded by horizontal structures that stop the high summer sun from hitting the glass. Vertical shading such as external blinds and awnings are best for East and West facing windows which need protection from the low summer sun. If you live in an apartment, choose well-insulated curtains and blinds.

Double glaze your skylights

Single-glazed skylights can contribute a large amount of heat. To reduce this impact on your home, install double glazing or skylight blinds, or close off rooms with unprotected skylights.

Grow plants and trees

Plants and trees absorb an enormous amount of heat. Plant deciduous trees with high spreading crowns to the North and lower growing trees and shrubs to the west for maximum summer protection. Hardy leafy potted plants can help a lot on balconies and in paved courtyards.

Help your air conditioner run optimally

Take your air conditioner’s filters out and gently wipe or wash for maximum air conditioner efficiency. Clogged filters make your air conditioner work harder and require more energy to run. If you have ducted air conditioning, take a moment to test your ducting pressure for leaks and holes. Otherwise, you could be pumping cold air into your roof space rather than your living area.

Don’t forget to run the air conditioner at the optimal summer temperature setting which is between 23°C and 26°C. Use air conditioner timers to your advantage. Don’t blast your air conditioner for a quick cool down. Plan ahead, use a timer and cool down your home over a longer timeframe at the optimal temperature setting for greater energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. If you can, use a fan rather than an air conditioner as this will cost you a fraction of the price to run.

When the air outside cools in the evening, remember to switch off the air conditioner and ventilate any built-up heat within the house.

Learn more

Do you want more tips? Get recommendations tailored for your home through a free sustainability assessment with Ms Pearce. All City of Ryde residents including owners and tenants living in a house or an apartment are eligible.

Book a free assessment today for your chance to win $1,500 to spend on home improvements.

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