Sustainable Ways To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Sustainable Ways To Keep Your Home Cool This Summer
Emine Mehmet

Nov 20, 2014

Summer 2014/15 in Australia is set to be the third consecutive year of record warm temperatures. Add increasing energy prices, and it’s not looking too comfortable by any means. The trick this summer will be to keep your home cool, keep your bills low and at the same time, make less impact on the environment.

If you’re renovating or building a new home, here are two important building materials you need to make your home comfortable during the upcoming summer months, and reduce your energy usage;

1. Insulation 

Insulation to ceilings, floors and walls can create a temperate internal environment both in summer and winter.

There are a number of Australian made insulation products on the market that are environmentally friendly and low in toxins for a safer internal environment. Materials include aluminium foil, cellulous fibre and even recycled wool yarn. When used on the roof, walls and under floors, insulation seals up a home against air leakage and dramatically reduces the need for artificial cooling.

2. Windows 

Studies show as much as 87% of heat enters a typical home through windows, and up to 40% of a typical home’s energy can be lost through the incorrect use of windows. High performance glazing positioned correctly can trap internal heat in winter and reduce it in summer.

Thermally Broken windows have an outer and inner frame in either aluminium and aluminium, or aluminium and timber. A thermally broken frame means the frame on the outside is insulated from the frame on the inside with a polyamide insulator positioned between the two panes of glass of a double glazed window. This reduces heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.

Not renovating or building new?

If you have no plans for renovating before summer hits, don’t worry, there are still some simple, cost effective things you can do to help keep your home cool and impact your energy bills.

Instead of new insulation: 

Seal all your doors, windows and skirtings to reduce heat loss and gain and therefore reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint. Make sure windows are fitted with effective blinds or curtains for more effective results.

Instead of new windows:

Installing new windows can be a huge job, and an extremely expensive one. If budget is a factor consider retrofitting window film to your existing windows for comparable results in terms of energy efficiency, at a fraction of the cost.

Windows don’t need to be removed during the application process, making installation simple. Most importantly, window film can reduce up to 80% total solar energy, 99% UV radiation and 90% glare, while letting in natural light.

Low E films help retain as much as half the heat inside the room on cold days, and block as much as half the heat from entering the room on hot days. They work in all seasons and throughout the year to control the temperature within a room and reduce the need for air conditioning or heating.

Each film is different, so the key is selecting a respected and experienced installer to recommend the best film for your home. As a rule of thumb, look for a product with a WERS For Film rating and an installer with a WERS For Film licence. This accreditation is your assurance the product will live up to its energy claims, and entitles you to a WERS For Film energy certificate that can help boost the energy rating of your home.


Organising a complete green renovation can be daunting and expensive. Just remember you don’t have to do everything at once. Preparing a list of prioritised ideas that can be instigated over time, as the budget allows, is the best way to make your home more efficient. Try to start with the changes that will have the greatest impact on your energy bill, so the savings you make can be allocated to your next idea.


By The Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand

The Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ) represents film manufacturers and installers, while providing resources to home owners on the types of film available. The website lists installers across Australia, WERS rated films, WERS certified installers and contains contact details if more information is required. 


By Emine Mehmet

Eminè is a Wellbeing Strategist at the forefront of The Healthy Building Movement, speaker, writer and teacher. Known as the GO TO PERSON FOR WELLBEING, for over three years Eminè has applied her 20 plus years of knowledge and expertise of the built environment and people as a strategist in the wellbeing space. Her intention is to support the construction industry in going beyond their work on buildings to positively impact the people that occupy a space. Eminè has a unique ability to connect to people on a fundamental level through her activating presentations and teachings, enabling change and transformation. 'Wellbeing is the next step up from sustainability and It's not just about physical health. It’s more holistic then that, taking into consideration the physical, mental, spiritual and environmental wellbeing of a person.' says Eminè.



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