Summer is fast upon us. In some parts of the country, it has definitely arrived. While summer means beaches, swimming and evening BBQs, it also means high energy bills, as we switch on the aircon to stay cool.

Before you panic, and start looking for real estate in Tasmania, there are a few ways you can cool your house that are both environmentally sustainable and cost-effective.

Here, we share some cool ideas for passively cooling your house in warmer months.

Create a green paradise

Plant lots of greenery around your home to cool your house during the summer months. Plants provide shade, which cools the exterior of your house. Put a pond or fountain just outside crucial windows, to cool air before it enters the house.

Shade windows

The sun will pass across the northern side of your house. Shade the northern windows with a verandah or trees to help keep your home cool in the summer months. You can also keep blinds down on northern windows during warmer months.

Promote air movement

A well-designed house should promote air flow. Air flow isn’t to do with the direction of the breeze, but air pressure, because breeze is sucked to areas of low air pressure. Larger windows should be on the low air pressure (downwind) side of the house, and smaller windows should be on the high air pressure (upwind) side of the house.

Louvres are easily adjusted for ventilation. Install louvres over doors to help airflow in summer months. Your designer can also position windows to promote cross-ventilation in high use areas of the house, like the living room.

Well-positioned fans will circulate cool air through the house.

Improve your roof

A light-coloured roof reflects solar heat. Good insulation in your roof helps keep the house cool. Reflective foil insulation does twice the work by reflecting solar heat, as well as keeping cool air inside.

Air-conditioning 

Passive cooling systems can help, but on hot, hot days and nights, effective use of air-conditioning can make a big difference to your comfort levels.

If you are purchasing air-conditioning, look for appliances that have high efficiency and good energy ratings.

Ideally, air-conditioning is installed in an area of the house that can be closed off. Close windows, blinds and doors to prevent cool air escaping. Once air is cooled, turn the appliance off, and avoid letting cool air escape. If your home is well-insulated, the air should remain cool for a while. For a good night’s sleep, consider running air-conditioning an hour before bedtime, and switching it off before you sleep.

Talk to your Smartline Adviser about options for financing cool solutions for your home.