Living in Australia for my whole life, I have gotten fairly used to the heat. Even as I sit here typing this post, it is currently 31 degrees Celsius in the middle of Autumn. I thought it was supposed to be getting cooler?
Anyway, I am always somewhat shocked when I read news sites that say people are dying or suffering from heat stroke over in the UK whenever the temperature goes a little north of 30. We deal with that on a daily basis in Summer (some days it gets up past 40), it’s hot, but we manage to keep going without dying.
Having said that though, it would be nice to be able to not suffer through those 40+ degree days. I have considered installing air conditioning in the past, but it is really expensive and our house is on the top of a hill where we get a lovely sea breeze every afternoon. So it never really gets as hot here as most other parts of the city. Despite this, at the back of the house where my little boys bed room is, it can get very hot and stuffy and I want to make sure he is nice and comfortable so he doesn’t have any difficulties sleeping.
So before I rush off and buy an air conditioning unit, I thought it might be prudent to look into other types of cooling mechanisms that we have at our disposal.
First cab off the rank is insulation. Insulation in the roof is a great way to keep a nice moderate temperature within the house. It keeps the heat in throughout winter, and keeps the heat out during Summer. We had insulation installed in our roof when we built our house as we weren’t sure how much heat would come in via the roof.
The next thing that we did was have a number of fans around the place to help keep us cool. Unfortunately due to my height, having ceiling fans isn’t really an option if I want to keep my head attached to the rest of my body.
Just this week we also installed solar protective window tinting on our western facing windows. My parents had this installed at their house when I was a kid, and the temperature difference was remarkable. It only costs a few hundred dollars and it prevents up to 99% of the UV radiation entering the house, as well as keeping the temperature far lower than normal.
I’m really liking the window tinting idea as our curtains were starting to really cop a pasting from the sun and were badly deteriorating after only 7 years. Hopefully this tinting effort will limit any more damage to the curtains and carpet in those rooms, plus keep the heat out!
What if it is still hot?
If all else fails then I guess we are looking at air conditioning for the house. It really is my last option as I know running air conditioning can get very expensive. If I was going to install air conditioning units then I would also want to get solar panels to help reduce the cost of running the air con.
The problem I have with solar power is that there is such a long pay back period, and I also don’t like the way it looks on the roof. Although I recently saw a product from Monier called SOLARtile, which has the solar panels built into the tile.
Looks pretty cool doesn’t it! If I was going to get solar panels – these would definitely be something I would consider as they look really nice and sleek.
What are your thoughts on keeping the house cool? Is air conditioning pretty much my only option left? Is it that expensive?