Cool Home Tips (to) help Combat Climate Change
Instead of relying entirely on mechanical cooling, simple solutions like shading and lighter paints can keep your home at a comfortable temperature, reverse the "island heat" effect and lower your energy costs up to 50 percent.
- Train vine up trellises on the hottest side of the house. Keep the trellis at least 6 inches from the wall to provide buffer of cool air.
- Plant trees on the southern and western sides of your property to provide shade. Shading can lower indoor temperatures as much as 7 degree Celcius and reduce the need for mechanical cooling.
- Fit awnings or movable roof to block out hot tropical sun. Light colored draperies and shades can also help heat gain.
- Encourage a natural breeze. Open windows in the evening to circulate cool air in and warm air out.
- Paint your roof and walls a light color to reflect heat. Dark surfaces can be 21 degree Celcius hotter than white or silver ones. Heat stored in the walls and roofs continues to radiate even after sunset.
- Be air conditioner smart. Keep tightly windows and doors closed. Use A/C to take the edge off heat rather than creating a polar micro-climate. Around 28 degree Celcius is fine. Turn A/C off an hour before you go out--the air will still be cool by the time you are ready to leave.