With summer on the way, it’s time to start thinking about how you can keep your home cool this summer. While air conditioning is an effective way to cool your home, it can be expensive to use, as well as harmful for the environment. A better way to keep your home cool is to use preventative measures, like minimizing or stopping heat gain through your windows.
Your windows not only let light and air into your home, but they can also let in heat. Therefore, you need to find ways to reduce how much heat they let into your home in order to avoiding needing to use other cooling methods in your home. Here are our top four ways to minimize and prevent heat gain through your windows this summer.
- Window direction and glazing alternatives
The direction your window faces can make a big difference on the heat that it lets in. In Australia, it’s recommended to have larger windows on the north side of the house to get some warmth in winter. You want small windows on the east and west sides of your home because these are the ones that are most likely to be exposed to the sun, and they will therefore lead to more heat gain. If you are building or renovating your home, keep this information in mind and you’ll find that you can reduce your cooling costs.
Along with where you place your windows, you can make the windows themselves better at reflecting heat. This can be done through window tinting, using glazing or films. This glazing means that more heat is reflected off the window without minimal effects on the quality and amount of light that passes through your window.
You can purchase glass that is already tinted, or you can apply a tint to existing windows with a film. These films are easy to apply and can be cut to fit any sized windows.
- Canopies and outside shading
Another way to reduce the sunlight that hits your windows and therefore reducing the potential heat gain of your home through windows, is to invest in external canopies and shading. For instance, you can purchase retractable awnings which you can extend during summer to keep your glass shaded, stopping heat gain. Similarly, you can install awnings that cast shadows over your windows and limit the sunlight that hits your windows.
These awnings come in a range of styles and materials, so you’re bound to find something to suit your home and your needs. The only issue some homeowners have with these awnings is that it can affect the view from your windows, depending on where you place the awnings. However, with retractable awnings, you can pull them back when you don’t need them. For permanent awnings, you can arrange for them to be made in and positioned in such a way that they add to the aesthetic of your home or do not impact your view.
- Curtains and blinds
With the right curtains and blinds, you can also reduce heat gain in your home. For example, block-out blinds are made from a durable material that helps to reflect light and heat away from your window. These curtains and blinds can also be used to keep heat in during cooler months.
Curtains and blinds are an affordable and easy to install option. They can also have additional benefits, like improving your home’s privacy and noise proofing, as well as making it easier to control the amount of light that enters your home. This can be particularly handy in summer when the sun rises early and may wake you up before you need to get up.
The key thing to remember when investing in these curtains and blinds is that they must be drawn before the sun rises too high to get the best results. Otherwise, there is already time for heat gain to occur and you may find it harder to cool your home.
- Passive cooling
Passive cooling is a good idea for both your wallet and the environment. If you are renovating or building your home, aim to incorporate as many passive cooling elements into the design. For instance, plant trees and shrubs around your home which will provide it with plenty of shade but let cool breezes through. Similarly, ensure there is good airflow throughout your home, so no room becomes hot and stuffy. Also consider the color of your home and its roof. Choose lighter colors to reflect heat and sunlight, rather than drawing it in which can heat your home unnecessarily.
To stay comfortable this summer, it’s important that you know how to minimize heat gain through your home’s windows. Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can do this, no matter your budget.