The warmer weather has finally arrived and while we cannot be more thrilled about the longer days spent outdoors, sometimes those warm summer days can be just a bit too hot. And, on the days when it is too hot and sticky to be outside, you will want your home to offer a cool reprieve. That is why we have put together this short but handy list of four simple home improvement projects that will keep your home cool and comfortable over the next few months and the summer seasons to come.
1. Treat your windows
One simple but effective home improvement project that will keep your home cool during summer is treating your windows both inside and out. Window treatments do not only make your home more aesthetically pleasing, but it can also help reduce the indoor temperature of your home. Choosing the correct drapes, curtains and blinds is vital if you want to keep the strong summer sun from penetrating inside your home. Light-colored drapes and thermal blinds are best for stopping the transmission of heat. Some homeowners are worried the heavy look of blinds and drapes will not mix well with summer décor, however, you do not need to sacrifice a bright look. Window blinds or shades that come in darker hues often work well with a lighter color window treatment while still limiting sun exposure when they are closed. Also, cellular shades provide a great insulative effect, which enhances your windows’ ability to reflect heat.
2. Insulate your home
Insulation is not just effective at keeping a home warm. Insulation also works to keep a house cool, too. If you are carrying out a smaller home improvement project, it is important to insulate your home’s ducts to prevent any air leaks, including attics and walls. Spray foam, rigid foam boards and batt insulation are all effective ways of regulating your home’s inside temperature.
If you are working on a bigger home improvement project, it is important you choose the right insulation materials. Materials with a high thermal mass include brick, cement, stone and ceramic tiles. Even if you are not doing a major home renovation, covering a wall that is exposed to the summer sun with a material like brick can greatly help absorb heat.
3. Replace your windows
One of the greatest home improvement projects you can do to cool your home this summer and save on energy is replacing or repairing your windows. Much of a home’s heat gain can be attributed to the quality and type of its windows. For example, if the window is leaky or was made out of energy inefficient materials, the condition of your windows directly affects how hot the inside of your home gets during summer. If you decide to replace your old windows, you should choose double- or triple pane units with a high-performing glass (low-E coating). These options will greatly reduce heat transfer, making sure your home is cool inside even when it gets insufferably hot outside.
4. Invest in LED lights and energy star appliances
For a smaller project that is both economical and effective at cooling down your home during summer, take a look at your electrical appliances and light bulbs. Summer is the ideal time to replace any incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient options that produce much less heat, for example; LEDs or CFLs. Not only do these types of light bulbs transmit less heat, using energy-efficient light bulbs can also help reduce your electricity bill as they use around 80 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs. If you have a little more money to play with, you can look at upgrading your larger appliances like fridges, dishwashers and dryers to more energy-efficient models, which will help reduce the ambient heat in your home during summer.