During stifling summers, it can often feel like you’re fighting a losing battle trying to keep your house cool. And with a summer of restricted travel opportunities fast approaching, now might be the time to up your cooling game.
Installing an air conditioner can be an expensive decision, so it’s important to understand how you can maximise the benefits from the money you spend.
Half the battle of choosing a new air conditioning system is picking the right product for your home and needs. If your brand-new cooling system is not paired with an otherwise efficiently operated dwelling, you could wind up sinking money into bills while cool air escapes right out your door.
Here are our best tips to help you get the most out of your new investment.
What air con system do you need?
Multi system air conditioning is ideal for a home with multiple rooms and individual temperature needs.
It involves installing separate indoor units wherever you need them, which are then all connected to one compact outdoor unit to save space outside the home.
The main benefit is that each indoor unit comes with its own control and can therefore cater to the needs of that room and the people in it. So if you have overheating adults in one room and freezing kids in another, you can set these temperatures individually.
A multi system is an ideal air conditioning solution when individual units are required in more than one room and when a traditional ducted system may not be suitable based off the home design.
A ducted system offers a whole home comfort solution. Unlike the multi system with multiple indoor units, ducts are run through your ceiling, leaving the system largely concealed with only the vents visible in each room.
Ducted air conditioning allows for the home to be divided into separate areas, or ‘zones’. Zoning will allow you to have greater control over the airflow around the home and provides flexibility to use your system to suit your living arrangements and lifestyle.
Depending on the air conditioning system, you can select which zones are on or off, or with advanced controllers select different temperatures for specific zones at the same time. This can improve energy efficiency and deliver superior comfort.
Seizing the natural elements is key to cooling your home more effectively.
Cross ventilation is the term used to describe the architectural layout that allows for a cross breeze to flow through your home, bringing the cool air in one window and pushing the hot air out another.
While you don’t want to do this during the day while the air outside is hot, come sun down, you should be able to turn off your air con, swing open those doors and windows and let the night time breeze do its job.
Just make sure you have flywire or adequate screening, otherwise you’ll fight a losing battle against mosquitos.
Keep the blinds closed
During the day, you will more likely want to keep your windows and doors closed – especially if you’re running the air con! Remember to keep your curtains or blinds closed too, which provides an extra layer of insulation so your cool air doesn’t escape.
The main issue here is that if you’re working from home, sitting in darkness or with your lights on all day isn’t a great option.
If you work from home a lot, you might want to consider glazing your windows, which can also keep the heat from penetrating the glass.
It starts outdoors
Ensure your home and windows have adequate shade to keep you cooler. Start by planting some shade-providing trees or bushes near your sun-heavy windows.
Similarly, you can attach retractable awnings over your windows or doors for extra shade, which will help protect your windows from too much heat exposure.
An awning or shaded area can also help if you want to spend more time outdoors – and you should, it’s summer!