When working with a mid-range budget, there is a greater array of cooling options that can help create a cool, healthy home during the hottest days of the year. Along with insulation, glazing and ceiling fans, here's a scope of what you can get done.
If you are spending $20,000 on renovations Eco Design Advisor Nelson Lebo recommends super insulating your ceiling, avoiding too much west facing glazing and planting deciduous trees for shade. This article reviews these options, however, depending on your budget you might want to read about basic or high end cooling options.
The best time to look at effective cooling options is in the design process, and the single best thing you can invest in is insulation, the more the better. Our experts say the roof and the ceiling are key, but if you insulate the walls as well it’s even more effective.
If you are adding or moving glazing, its placement is key as single paned glass can increase the heat in a room by 87%. North-facing positions are the best options for main living areas, and the experts at Your Home suggest avoiding east and west-facing openings because they receive the strongest sun and are the most difficult to shade.
Single pane glass is not a great insulator so installing double glazing, which works by trapping a layer of air or gas between two panes, is an excellent option. Radiation from the sun is reduced by 70% with single pane glass and 14% with double-glazing.
According to interior designer Karen Fergusson ceiling fans not only provide cooling they’re very popular in design right now.
Technically speaking, according to Your Home, at 50% relative humidity, air movement of 0.5m/s creates maximum cooling effect; faster speeds can be unsettling.
“The size of a ceiling fan should fit well with your room size and are best positioned centrally in each space, or in bigger rooms over areas where people spend the most time,” says Karen. Our experts say that adjusting a ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise will create a cooler airflow.
Heat pumps are highly regarded for their energy efficiency after the initial investment. They work on a ‘reverse cycle’ meaning they can heat and cool and use the same technology as your fridge. “A heat pump needs to be the right size for a particular space, and it takes moisture out of the air so it’s dryer,” says Refresh Renovations Dominic Hollands.
Smart Homes suggest using the fan only setting to create cross-draughts in your home. “Keep your windows open when using this mode,” they say. If humidity’s the problem use the dehumidifying mode if you have one. It uses less electricity than full cooling mode and you’ll need to shut all of your doors and windows. “Set the thermostat to around 22˚C. The room won't cool down quicker if you set it lower, and you are likely to use more electricity by overcooling.”
Trees, plants, vines and water look beautiful and tactically positioned they can funnel breezes. Depending on the size of your land, landscaping can cost from hundreds to thousands. However, it can play an important role in the temperature of your home. Whereas paving will hold heat, grass is cooling.
Eco Design Advisor Nelson Lebo suggests choosing deciduous varieties of trees that lose their leaves in winter so you don’t miss out on solar gains. “Plants, trees and grass can lower the ground temperature as well as acting like a shade umbrella,” he says. During photosynthesis, plants absorb heat and release water into the atmosphere and this cools the air around them as it evaporates.
Add a pond or water feature into the mix to increase the rate of evaporation. “The surface area of water exposed to moving air is important. Fountains, mist sprays and waterfalls can increase evaporation rates,” says Your Home. “This works best when relative humidity is lower (70% or less during hottest periods) as the air has a greater capacity to take up water vapour.”
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your renovation project, please use the enquiry form alongside to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.