8 tricks to keep your home cool and fresh all year round

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Passive cooling techniques are definitely the smartest tools at your disposal if you are looking for ways to cool your home. In the sultry Singaporean climate they will almost always need to be supplanted by an electronic air conditioner. But they are a cheap and environmentally friendly factor that should always be considered. Let's not overlook the fact that they will have a drastic effect on your electricity bills too.

So, today we will explore 8 ways to make your home cool and liveable year round. We will cover some easy options as well as some more suitable for those planning a new home. So let's get started!

1. Favourable orientation

Graphic programs now provide a very easy way to track the passage of the sun over your home. This knowledge can be used to plan your window placements to best advantage. It's essential to install adequate awnings on the side of the home that receives the most intense sunlight. It will also pay to add some heat resistant film to those windows as well.

2. Cross-flow

No matter how effectively you set up your home, it's always important to be able to open your home up wide. Large openings at strategic points around the home will help you create a cross-current of air. An afternoon breeze could very effectively utilised to push hot air out of the home in the early evening. 

3. Greenery

Plants release moisture into the air. This increases the humidity and can both cool and warm a room. Outdoor greenery is a more reliable feature at your disposal. It can be used to create shade for the building and it’s said that one young healthy tree can even cool a building as much as 1- room-sized air conditioners. In more everyday terms, outdoor plants can also be planted to provide shade for your cooling unit and reduce electrical costs.

4. Patio

A patio or covered outdoor entertaining area will provide a lot of shade for the home and greatly decrease the amount of heat hitting the entrance areas. It might even provide a spot for some cooling water features and greenery to help too.

5. A body of water

A mass of cold water will generally cool down your home. It helps of course if it’s placed in a position that receives a good breeze so hot air passes across the surface of the water before it travels into the home. And for those times when nothing quite works, it’s always lovely to have a refreshing swim in the pool!

6. Roof insulation

Most of the heat in the average home is absorbed through the roof. So it’s really important to ensure that adequate insulation is installed. Cheap and easy to install silicon caulk will also ensure that cool air from your precious air conditioner doesn’t escape the home.

7. Light colours

A home with lightly coloured walls will reflect, rather than absorb heat. This is one of the single most important passive techniques you can use to cool down your home.

8. Shade

As mentioned earlier, awnings will have a drastic effect on how much heat your home absorbs. But it also pays to invest in some good quality drapes and blinds. They should be made with light-coloured fabrics that will reflect the sunlight. It’s also important to fit them properly so no hot air is absorbed through the edges.

It’s also good to get into the routine of closing your home up during the heat of the day, then opening it up in the early hours of the evening to get the warm air moving out of the house.

For more smart design ideas, have a look at A couple's perfect wedding present home.

Do you have any other tricks for our readers?

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