4 tips to stay cool and green this summer

Staying cool in the summer seems like an impossible task. Everywhere windows are thrown open, ice is piled into drinks and the incessant whirling of fans assaults our ears.

green-ice.jpgstaying cool and green is easier than you think

So how can we keep cool and save energy when the temperature outside tops 30C?

Well the answer to that question is simpler than you may think. Just a few simple tips can drastically lower the temperature in your home, save you energy on cooling and most of all make you more comfortable.

1. Keep your curtains drawn and blinds closed

By keeping your curtains and blinds closed you are reducing the amount of solar thermal energy that is entering your home and heating up the air inside. It is most important on your south facing windows where you have direct sunlight, so north facing windows can be left uncovered to let in the light.

2. Keep your windows closed during the day

Now people think this is counter-intuitive, surely open the windows to let the breeze in. A breeze only feels cooler to hot skin as it helps the evaporation of sweat and the conductance of heat away from the body. The best bet is to keep the hot air out in the first place. For example, if it is 30C outside and you open a window the hot air will quickly fill your house and raise the temperature, a breeze only draws in more hot air from outside. So keep those windows closed during the day.

3. Open your windows at night

You just said to keep windows closed? This is true during the day, but the temperature drops at night. Once it gets down below around 22C then you can open up your house to let in this cooler air and let nature be your air-conditioning by taking advantage of this "night cooling". Just remember to close them all again and trap the cool air inside once the sun comes up and starts to heat up again. If you want to help the exchange of air at night, a small fan at the window pointing inwards to draw the air in can help, but put it on a timer so it does not run all night and waste energy.

Extra tip: if you can, keep the lights off near open windows at night to stop all the critters flying in!

4. Don't use your oven

When preparing meals think of things that don't require baking or grilling as these cooking methods lose a lot of excess heat into your home making it even warmer and less comfortable. Time to either light that BBQ or have a nice salad!

Putting the tips into practice

I have been using these tips myself over the past month in my old Victorian terrace. I can say that even when it is 30C plus outside it is rarely more than 23-24C inside. If you don't believe me, here is a photo taken just now.  

temperature-in-out.jpgOn the left an outside temp 31C, on the right an inside temp 22.5C

So there you have it, a few simple tricks to keep cool and stay green this summer.