From considered planning or working with what you’ve got, our expert James Treble shows us how to stay comfortable in your home year round.
James Treble gives advice on home temperature control.
WHEN IT COMES TO HEATING AND COOLING your home there are many options available, depending upon your budget, personal needs and property type. There are many simple, yet very effective and inexpensive ideas to deal with the harsh summer sun and cold winter nights without breaking the bank. The perfect solution will allow you to enjoy your home all year round, implementing simple and easy-to-adopt energy-saving ideas to reduce your electricity bills. Here are some options worth considering.
1 PREVENTION – WAYS TO STAY COOL AND WARM
A little planning and elbow grease can go a long way to improving the effects of the seasons on your home.
Removing drafts Make sure that all of your entry door and window seals are airtight; most heat and cold air is transferred though gaps under doors or around windows. By sealing window frames and using a door snake, you’ll save a bundle year round.
Deciduous tress and vines Planting deciduous trees on the western side of your home will create shade and prevent the sun from heating up your roof and walls in summer. During winter, when leaves have dropped, they will add much-needed warmth by allowing the low winter sun to enter the house through the windows and heat things up during the day.
Awnings and eaves Awnings and deep eaves will prevent the sun from hitting your walls and heating up your home in the middle of the day. Eaves in particular are important to keep out the heat in Australian homes – they are particularly effective when installed on the western side of a building.
2 ADDING THE RIGHT LAYERS – INSULATION
One clever way to keep things in your home from being affected by outside temperatures is with insulation.
Windows In summer, the heat comes in through windows, and in winter the house loses warm air through the glass. Installing curtains or roller blinds with a block-out layer will insulate windows and prevent UV rays from fading flooring and furnishings.
House insulation Proper insulation can save you thousands of dollars in energy bills. You’ll never see it, but you can definitely feel the benefits of good wall (especially important for west-facing rooms) and ceiling insulation.
3 MECHANICAL MEANS – FANS AND AIR-CON
Ceiling fans Install models with a wide blade angled between 12 to 14 degrees – anything less won’t move the air much. In summer, setting ceiling fans on high creates the most breeze and circulates the most air, pushing cool air down into the centre of the room, usually in an anticlockwise direction. In winter, fans with a reverse switch, such as Clipsal’s High Performance fans (Clipsal.com), allow you to reverse the direction of the blades to push warm air down.
A great tip is to use ceiling fans and the aircon unit at the same time. It allows you to turn your unit down but will keep the room just as cool.
Airconditioning I personally prefer trying to utilise other forms of heating and cooling before resorting to airconditioning, but it is a feature of many homes nowadays. Wall-mounted split systems are ideal for existing homes while fully ducted versions are usually installed in new homes. Both are quiet to run as the compressor is located outside. Inverter systems, while more expensive, use far less energy than a standard reverse-air system, which runs flat out whenever it’s on, saving you money over time.
By combining some of the methods outlined here, you should be able to save on running costs, and help out the environment at the same time.
“Make sure all your entry door and window seals are airtight.”
Hot air Fans aren’t just for the summer months, they can be used to move warm air in winter too.
Set you fan on high in summer and on low in winter for maximum effect.
IN THE SHADE Gummerson Rylee roller blind in Stone, from $69.99 for 60cm x 2.1m, from Spotlight.
BLOW IN Moonah fan (1.22m) in Black, $139, from Beacon Lighting.
COOL CUSTOMER S09AWN-14 reverse cycle split system, $1149, from LG.
In the eaves Awnings and eaves can do a lot to shade your home in summer while letting in winter sun.
Stop the draught Don’t let cold air blow in through gaps in windows and doors.