Summer is finally here and we could not be more excited for the longer, warmer days that come with it. However, sometimes those warm days can become insufferably hot. On these days when it is too hot to go outside, you will want your home to be a cool, safe haven. We have compiled a list of 5 great home improvement projects that will help keep your family and home comfortable and cool this summer season when the heat starts to kick in.
1. Invest in cooler lighting and appliances
Did you know that your electrical appliances and light bulbs affect the amount of indoor temperature in your home? Summer is the perfect time to replace any incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient options that produce much less heat, for example; LEDs or CFLs. Not only do they 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, according to Energy Star. Also, upgrading your larger appliances like fridges, dishwashers and dryers to more energy-efficient models will also help reduce the ambient heat in your home during summer.
2. Treat your windows inside and out
Another great home improvement project to keep you home relatively cool during the summer months is window treatment both inside and outside the home. Window treatments not only make your home look more visually pleasing, but they can also help reduce the indoor temperature of your home. Choosing the right drapes, curtains and blinds is important if you want to keep the heat out of your home, then you need to block the sun by closing the blinds. Light-colored drapes and thermal blinds are best for stopping heat transmission. Some people might be concerned that the heavy look of blinds and drapes do not mix well with summer décor, which is more often than not light, bright and airy. However, you do not have to forgo the bright look for better control of sunlight. Window blinds or shades that come in a darker hue often work well with a lighter looking window treatment while still helping you limit sun exposure when they are closed. Furthermore, cellular shades provide an insulating effect, which improves your windows’ ability to reflect heat.
3. Replace your old windows
One of the best home improvement projects you can do to beat the summer heat is replacing or repairing old windows. A lot of a house’s heat gain can be attributed to the quality and type of windows you have. If the window is leaky or was constructed out of energy inefficient materials, the condition of your windows directly affects how hot your home will be during the long summer days. According to energy.gov, sealing, repairing, or waterproofing your windows are some of the most effective ways to reduce heat gain during the summer months. Furthermore, you can also save up to 10% on your energy bills. Or, if you decide to replace your old windows, opt for double-pane, high-performing glass (low-E coating), which will significantly reduce heat transfer, ensuring your home is nice and cool even when it is extremely hot outside.
4. Insulate your home
It is often the case that when thinking about insulation, we think about keeping houses warm. However, this is not the case. Insulation is also about keeping the house cool. For a smaller home improvement project, you will want to make sure you are insulating ducts to prevent any leaks, including your attic and walls. Spray foam, rigid foam boards and batt insulation are all highly effective ways of regulating your house’s inside temperature. For larger home improvement projects, especially if you are renovating your home, you want to ensure you are choosing the right materials. The materials you need contain a high thermal mass, which essentially means they store heat. Materials with a high thermal mass include brick, cement, stone and ceramic tiles. If you are not doing major renovations, even covering a wall that is exposed to the summer sun with a material like brick can significantly help absorb heat.
5. Outdoor improvements
Did you know outdoor improvement projects can also help reduce the heat in your home? Outdoor improvements not only improve the aesthetics of your home, but they can help keep it cooler too. Try planting shade trees to shelter windows that are directly exposed to the sun or install awnings to shade your windows and doors. If you want to work on your patio or deck, opt for materials that reflect heat. Also, if you paint your siding in a lighter color it will help to minimize heat absorption in your home.