Keep your Home Cool and Ditch the Air Con

1. Use Block-out lining on your Curtains and Blinds

The warm internal temperature in the home can be contributed to heat working it’s way through the glass in a window (during Summer). The key is to reduce the amount of direct contact the glass has with the sun, in order  to reduce the heat transfer into the internal spacing. An effective way to combat this is to use curtains or blinds with a block out lining on the reverse. This will create a strong filter making it difficult for the heat to seep through. When block out  curtains or blinds are kept closed, during a hot Summer’s day, they will significantly reduce heat transfer – resulting in a much cooler room for you.

There are hundreds of companies that offer block out curtains and blinds;  one that has caught my attention is Choice Blinds in Sydney. I absolutely  love the huge variety  available – so many patterns, textures, styles and colours to choose from –far more fun variety than your stock standard white, grey, beige and black. 

Stunning Damasque fabric from Choice Blinds

2. Pelmets: The Summer AND Winter essential

This one goes hand in hand with your block out blind / curtain. Believe me when I say pelmuts above your window furnishings will help tremendously in reducing the Summer heat and keeping  out the Winter cold. So the mystery… how do they work?

Well. During a hot Summer’s day the heat will attempt to transfer through the glass in the windows as well as any other gaps in your home. The external air warms the window glass which then raises the temperature of the air pocket between the curtains and the glass. As hot air rise, it moves toward the top of the curtain/blind. Thankfully with a pelmut in place, it will act as a barrier and prevent the hot air escaping at the top. Instead the hot air will circulate back down towards the floor. Once it is closer to the ground and no longer in contact with the glass, it will drop in temperature.

Pretty scientific right… if only I could draw you a  diagram.. well you can Google that one. This essentially means, now that the hot air is no longer escaping from the top, your room temperature won’t rise as much as it could have.

3. Planter boxes in front of windows

If you have large windows with a paved or tiled area just outside, there’s a big chance the Summer heat bounces off the hard surface into the window. So, it’s worth considering the use of potted plants or planter boxes strategically placed in front of them. This will assist  in deflecting the Summer heat that rises from the hard surface outside. Planter boxes have come along way from looking like they belong out the from of nanna’s house. They can be incorporated in  with your current landscaping or deck.

 I  love what Deckscape have done – they’ve incorporated  planter boxes into an outdoor deck – marvellous!

Decking by Deckscape

4. Ceiling fans.

Ceiling fans can be cost as little as 3c per hour compared to an est. $2 per hour for ducted air conditioning.Not only is air conditioning expensive to have installed, the running costs are high as well, and I personally tend to find it leaves my throat and body quite dehydrated.

Ceiling fans are no longer an ugly addition overpowering the middle of the room. There are now so many varieties available to suit almost any interior. A great starting point that I found really helpful was Beacon Lighting. They have a large range of fans on offer, at reasonable pricing – there are modern fans, fans with lights, sculpted fans….. there’s even one  with retractable blades! The staff we have met have always been  friendly and willing to help (bonus points). You can also top up on energy efficient globes when you’re visiting.

Fans are available with retractable blades or even a sculptural quality like above right

5. Insulate your walls and ceiling

My mort important tip of all is to insulate! If you are building a new home or renovating, this should definitely be on the ‘must have’ list. Thermal insulation batts can be installed in the ceiling and with the walls.

Speaking from experience, I’ve had thermal insulation installed in the external and internal and external wall cavities of my home -during summer there can be up to a 10 degree difference between the internal and external air temperature – that’s a huge difference especially when is no air conditioner in sight!

To give you an idea of insulation ratings, if installed within a home, the insulation batts can offer a thermal rating of R1-1.5. In comparison to the ever popular saki in the roof, which offers a mere rating of R 0.5! If possible, I would suggest using a thermal batt with acoustic insulative properties – however it is a little more expensive. This is comprised of a denser material and reduces noise from the outside and from other rooms within the home. If you need you’re interested in finding out more about insulation check out Bradfords product selector at

Hopefully this has helped you to prepare for a much cooler home during Summer – and no need for a an air-conditioner.

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