Keep cool without breaking the bank

By: West Coast Online / 29 June 2019

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Australia is hot! We don’t do that casual Mediterranean sun that browns you gently — we do the type of sun that fries you to a crisp in seconds. And while it never quite dips to Arctic depths, our single-digit winter temperatures can leave you with heating bills that hurt the pocket. Here are some ways to stay ahead of house temperature control and stop your cash evaporating at the same rate as our water table.

Embrace green technology

While sweating quietly for the sake of environmental consciousness is not an option in our extreme heat, green technologies are emerging that can ensure you’re not breaking a sweat through heat or conscience. If you’re lucky enough to design your own space, you could build in a passive cooling system. Alternatively, running your air conditioning off solar panels lightens your reliance on the electricity grid and you’d be giving the sun a middle finger too — using its own power to protect yourself against it.

Work from the ground up

Making smart architectural choices can lead you to quite a lot of passive cooling changes. It’s not always possible to renovate your home whenever you like, but taking the chances as they come will leave you saving in the long run. For example, by ensuring your walls, windows and attics are insulated, your home won’t leak the air you’ve spent so much time air-conditioning — saving you money. And if you’re in the market for a new home, ensure your next place is north-facing to increase your chances of remaining cool in summer and warm in winter by working with the building’s natural orientation to the sun.

Learn from others

Take a leaf out of the book of ancient cultures in other hot places by embracing personal fans and perforated screens. People in India and Morocco were building long before we turned on the AC — why not take a leaf out of their book and follow the same principles in your own way? If oriental design is not to your taste, there’s the more fundamental principle of biomimicry — solving challenges, like house temperature control, by learning from nature. For example, the cooling system for the Eastgate Centre in Harare (Zimbabwe) is based on the same design principles employed by termites for controlling the temperature in their mounds.    

Multipurpose home improvements

Okay, so there are things you can do that don’t require the help of an architect or interior designer! Simple lifestyle changes and multipurpose home improvements can go a long way towards keeping costs down without sacrificing your comfort. By installing roller shutters, for instance, you can save up to 40% on your electricity bills. Keeping the shutters down while you’re not at home means you’re coming home to rooms that keep the sun out in summer, and the heat in during winter. This seems as simple as drawing the curtains, but the other added benefits of these insulated shutters are what sets them apart from your regular drapes. While you’re cooling off out of the summer heat, you can also keep out the neighbourhood noise — ensuring your afternoon siesta or Netflix binge is as undisturbed by noise as your home temperature is undisturbed by the sun.  

We’re idealists (hence the fearlessly far-reaching tips), but we’re also practical. Chat to us about how roller shutters can be one of your best home investments that makes a cost-effective difference to your heat-beating lifestyle. We’re not the type of salespeople that demolish your supply of cold beers as we melt on your couch waiting for you to buy from us — reach out when you’re ready. We’ll be here to answer your questions and let you in on the Half Price difference.  

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