With energy bills predicted to rise and an ever-increasing focus on ways in which we can reduce the size of our ecological footprints, we’re all looking for ways to cut back at home. Luckily, one area that can really help with lowering energy bills is your light management solutions; how and where you use your roller blinds, awnings and sunscreens. It’s also important to understand a few energy-saving basics that can help you harness the natural cooling and heating power of the planet without relying on an energy company to do it for you!
In the Australian summer, most of us rack up huge energy bills just trying to stay cool. Ceiling fans, air conditioners, evaporative coolers–you name it, each of these comes at a cost both to home owners and the environment. Cross ventilation is a simple concept that allows you to reduce your usage of electrical cooling devices, simply by encouraging fresh air to flow through–rather than around–your home. If it sounds easy, that’s because it is. The key is to encourage air to keep moving in channels around the home, and the best way to do this is to open windows on the windward side of the house, as well as the opposite side. The windows/doors on the opposite side of the house should be opened wider than those on the windward side of the house to encourage a vacuum to form, pulling fresh air constantly through the home and keeping it moderate and cool.
Blinds and Awnings
As we’ve mentioned before, blinds and awnings can also help keep rooms in a pleasant climate by blocking the heating effects of the sun. In terms of cross ventilation, installing retractable awnings or shutters can stop light entering a room while still allowing for air to enter in and out. This is important, and when proper light management solutions are implemented alongside cross ventilation principles, it is possible to drastically reduce your energy bill.
Know When to Hold ’em, Know When To Fold ’em
This line doesn’t just apply to a famous country music song–it’s a good principle to guide the use of blinds, retractable awnings and other light management solutions at different stages of the day. For example, if your aim is cooling, then during the heat of the day it is advisable to block out as much light as you can, while still allowing air in and out. Once the sun has set, however, awnings and other portable shades can be folded down to allow maximum evening breeze.