Summer brings a lot of great things our way—more daylight, beautiful gardens and
trips to the beach. But in Australia it also brings considerably warmer temperatures,
particularly inside our homes.  Air conditioning is a blessing, but it’s also a significant
amount of energy- and money-grabber and not all of us can afford this luxury. If you
are without an air conditioner do not fret, here are a handful of other suggestions for
cooling your house during those pleasant, but overly warm summer days.


Energy experts suggest you look for the ways to reduce the natural heat your
residence collects from the sun.  Conduct an inspection of your windows and
consider putting up awnings or look into installing reflective window film.  This not
only helps to cool your home in summer, it also blocks the ultraviolet rays that tend
to fade fabrics and furniture.
Planting summer loving trees and bushes to block the sun’s heat through windows is
a good organic solution, but may require a considerable length of time for these to
mature enough to become a solar blocker.  This is a step you might want to take in
along with quicker solutions.
Check to see if your windows and doorframes have seals that are not weathered,
These prevent warmer air to enter in the summer months as well as to escape in the
winter months when you want to be retaining as much heat as possible, so patching
these up addresses two problems in one.
Install energy efficient lighting that runs cooler.  Only 10 to 15% of the electricity that
your incandescent lights consume produces light—the rest is turned into heat.
You can always open your (screened) windows during the summer months, but do
so strategically. You may think that opening all of your windows will create a nice
cross-draft, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  Instead, open only the windows
where there is shade throughout the day creating a breeze that will carry the cooler
air throughout your home.
Avoid using heat-generating appliances as much as possible in the hotter hours of
the day.  Do laundry and run the dishwasher in the early mornings or late evenings.
Do as much of your meal preparation as possible in the microwave, or grill outdoors.
Turn off lights when not in use and confine baths and showers to early morning
hours.
Of course, installing a ceiling fan is a good way to get heavy warm air moving in a
room. Portable fans will also work, but remember, fans do not change the
temperature of the air.  Fans cool people and pets, not rooms.  Leaving a fan running
when you are somewhere else does nothing apart from boosting your energy bill.
Need assistance in implementing any of these steps?  Grey Army is ready to assist
you with any cost-saving or energy-saving measures you may want to take, as well
as any other improvement or repair jobs you are considering having done around
your home.

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