Beyond Air-Con - Better Ways to Cool Your Home This Summer

Melbourne has a reputation for being cold, but locals know it can also get brutally hot. As the mercury rises this summer, don’t just rely on air-con. Here are some elegant cooling solutions for your home.

Help from Above: Cooling Your Home with Awnings

Direct sunlight heats up surfaces just as a bar heater would. Installing awnings over your windows can block up to 77 per cent of heat from entering your home.

Awnings cool your home and protect your furniture from sun damage. They’re also an opportunity to accessorise your home’s exterior with stylish designs. Adjustable coverings are best, as these can be rolled up in winter to let the warmth in.

A large house with awnings and blinds and a summery garden.

Build a Wall: Cool Your Home with Curtains, Blinds, and Shutters

East and West facing windows get a lot of low-angle light as the sun sweeps through the north. Blinds, curtains, or shutters will work best to shade these windows.

Blinds and Shutters

Adjustable exterior blinds made from materials such as wood, steel, or aluminium provide a wall that stops sunlight before it hits the glass, reducing heat gain by around 45%. Experiment with different materials and colours to create a striking look with your blinds.

Shutters, on the other hand, allow you to close over windows as if with a door, keeping out a great deal of heat.

Curtains

Curtains also reduce the rooms’ temperature by up to 33%, but make sure you choose the right materials. For best results you’ll want closed-weave fabric, or thermal insulating lining (the lighter colours in the lining facing outwards will reflect the sun) - don’t forget to have fun choosing fabrics.

The Answer Is Blowing Through the Windows

A simple breeze through an open window can be a lifesaver on a sweltering day. But don’t just throw open all your windows and hope for the best.

Here are some tips to get the breeze working for you:

Let in the Night

Open your windows before bed to let in cool night air. Hop up early to close them and head off the day’s heat.

Hot Air Rises

Open lower level windows on the shaded side of your house, and higher windows on the opposite side. This will cool your home as warm air escapes through the high windows drawing in lower, colder air as it does.

Knowledge Is Power

Learn as much as you can about local wind conditions around your home. The more you learn the better you can use nature’s air-conditioning.

Tree Change

Planting a tree or a vine is a great way to cool your home and make your property look great at the same time. A well-placed tree blocks sun in summer and spring, then conveniently loses its leaves to let through sun in autumn and winter. Creeper vines cool buildings by shielding exterior walls from the sun; they will also make your home look amazing.

So turn off the air-con, open the windows, and start getting your house ready for summer. If you’re in Melbourne feel free to drop into our showroom and get inspired by our great selection of curtains, awnings, and blinds.

Statistics from Washington Post and Energy.gov