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Top 7 tips for keeping your home cool this summer

By 8 January 2013 9

thermal image

Sci-fi fans might confuse it with a scene from Predator however conducting a thermal imaging analysis of your home is one of Alexander Watson’s top 7 tips for staying cool this Summer. Read on to find out how you can book a free thermal imaging analysis of your home during January…

Here’s Alexander Watson’s top 7 tips for keeping your home cool this summer…

    1. Seal up gaps around windows, doors, exhaust fans and downlights. Stopping air leakage in summer keeps the warm air out for longer and helps refrigerated air conditioners work more effectively.

    2. Shut your home up during the day and open it up at night to flush out the heat. Unless you have evaporative cooling, remember to turn off your air conditioner once you start opening windows and doors.

    3. Make sure you have adequate ceiling and wall insulation without ANY gaps. Canberra homes should have R5 ceiling and at least R2 wall insulation. Remember a 5% gap gives a 50% reduction in insulation performance!

    4. Arrange a thermal imaging analysis to identify exactly where heat is entering your home. Thermal imaging will pick up gaps in insulation, windows and any other areas that radiate excess heat.

    5. Use shade sails and external blinds wherever possible. Stopping the heat before it enters your home is much more effective that trying to deal with it once it has entered your home.

    6. Install roof ventilators to get rid of the hot air in your roof and take the pressure off your insulation. The cooler you can get your roof space the cooler your home will be.

    7. Use your air conditioning earlier in the day if possible. Air conditioners use excessive amounts of energy trying to cool hot homes. Its much more efficient to give the AC a blast before it gets too hot then turn it off and keep the house closed up to keep the cool air in.

Alexander Watson specialises in energy efficiency audits and upgrades for existing buildings. They’re also locally owned and operated.

This month only, Alexander Watson are offering free home energy assessments with thermal imaging (normally valued at $99).

Thermal imaging cameras seek out hot spots caused by missing insulation and air leakage behind your home’s walls, ceilings, ducts and plumbing. This causes your home to leak heat while you waste money and energy on more heating and cooling.

The camera can also be used for post-building insulation checks on new homes during the defect liability period.

Contact Alexander Watson on 6100 3645 to book a free home energy assessment with thermal imaging analysis today.

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9 Responses to Top 7 tips for keeping your home cool this summer
#1
Mr Gillespie2:36 pm, 09 Jan 13

Infrared camera? I want one?

If they’re so damn expensive, why are normal cameras so cheap to make that you can find all sorts at your local Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, etc.??

#2
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd2:49 pm, 09 Jan 13

You forgot to mention the fact that the majority of heat transfer comes from float/toughened glass in windows and inefficient aluminium/steel frames. Filling the gaps around poor windows and glazing wont help much.

#3
thebrownstreak693:33 pm, 09 Jan 13

We found that having thick blinds and curtains has made an enormous difference.

#4
poetix3:56 pm, 09 Jan 13

I hope his equipment has a special monocrete setting…I think my house would break his special doodahs.

#5
NoImRight4:05 pm, 09 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You forgot to mention the fact that the majority of heat transfer comes from float/toughened glass in windows and inefficient aluminium/steel frames. Filling the gaps around poor windows and glazing wont help much.

You go to war with the army you have.

#6
poetix4:22 pm, 09 Jan 13

‘Cold enough for you?’

Napoleon Bonaparte, 1812

#7
AlexanderWatson10:36 am, 10 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You forgot to mention the fact that the majority of heat transfer comes from float/toughened glass in windows and inefficient aluminium/steel frames. Filling the gaps around poor windows and glazing wont help much.

Close but no cigar… Single glazed windows with aluminium frames that allow thermal bridging aren’t ideal by any means. However, if you have gaps around windows, doors, downlights etc, air leakage will always be your enemy. Air leakage also affects air conditioners that recycle air by effectively increasing the amount of fresh hot/cold air they are trying to cool/heat which makes them work harder and cost more money.

Here’s a haveacrackathome example for you… Grab two eskies, one top of the line and the other a supermarket special. Put a bag of ice in each. Put both lids on but leave the lid of the expensive esky open about 10mm. Pop them both in a similar location out of direct sunlight and see which melts first. This should give you a rough comparison of how something with poor conductive heat resistance and no air leakage compares to something with great conductive heat resistance and some air leakage.

My money’s on the air tight supermarket special.

#8
Solacecreations10:41 pm, 20 Jan 13

AlexanderWatson said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You forgot to mention the fact that the majority of heat transfer comes from float/toughened glass in windows and inefficient aluminium/steel frames. Filling the gaps around poor windows and glazing wont help much.

Close but no cigar… Single glazed windows with aluminium frames that allow thermal bridging aren’t ideal by any means. However, if you have gaps around windows, doors, downlights etc, air leakage will always be your enemy. Air leakage also affects air conditioners that recycle air by effectively increasing the amount of fresh hot/cold air they are trying to cool/heat which makes them work harder and cost more money.

Here’s a haveacrackathome example for you… Grab two eskies, one top of the line and the other a supermarket special. Put a bag of ice in each. Put both lids on but leave the lid of the expensive esky open about 10mm. Pop them both in a similar location out of direct sunlight and see which melts first. This should give you a rough comparison of how something with poor conductive heat resistance and no air leakage compares to something with great conductive heat resistance and some air leakage.

My money’s on the air tight supermarket special.

Once you have thrown open the windows over night and received some lovely cool breeze, the double glazing will retain the cool air inside the home. Air leakage is, of course, a concern and is a no-brainer. Shutting your heavy drapes creates the feeling of a cave. I know I would prefer to be able to look through my windows.

I am pleased you are offering this service and would be keen to talk to you about this.

#9
King_of_the_Muppets4:58 pm, 21 Jan 13

AlexanderWatson said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You forgot to mention the fact that the majority of heat transfer comes from float/toughened glass in windows and inefficient aluminium/steel frames. Filling the gaps around poor windows and glazing wont help much.

Close but no cigar… Single glazed windows with aluminium frames that allow thermal bridging aren’t ideal by any means. However, if you have gaps around windows, doors, downlights etc, air leakage will always be your enemy. Air leakage also affects air conditioners that recycle air by effectively increasing the amount of fresh hot/cold air they are trying to cool/heat which makes them work harder and cost more money.

Here’s a haveacrackathome example for you… Grab two eskies, one top of the line and the other a supermarket special. Put a bag of ice in each. Put both lids on but leave the lid of the expensive esky open about 10mm. Pop them both in a similar location out of direct sunlight and see which melts first. This should give you a rough comparison of how something with poor conductive heat resistance and no air leakage compares to something with great conductive heat resistance and some air leakage.

My money’s on the air tight supermarket special.

Interesting example but probably way too back yard – A 3mm singled glazed aluminium window has a U value of around 6 – A lot of canberra has this standard. A double glazed unit in a timber frane has a U value around 2. This means heat penetrates the window 3 times faster in a typical home. I would argue that perhaps a supermarket cooler is not a 1/3 as efficient as a premium model. In addittion the opening size is probably way out of proportion when compared to little holes around a window. But still a clever example of the value of creating a seal.

By all means seal up your windows but it will only get you so far. There is no way that it can account for such a drastic difference in performance. If cost is an issue the best move is to shade your glass from any direct light and heat gain. Lourves, outdoor blinds, pergola’s and grape vines. This would have a much bigger impact.

We have a large tree shading part of our home – it really helps the level of heat gain in that section of the home.

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