The expression ‘four seasons in one day’ is never truer than when describing Melbourne’s spring weather. A few days of hot dry weather can often be followed by rain, hail and thunder.
Eventually though, summer really hits. Keep reading for advice on keeping your home and family safe, cool and comfortable when the mercury rises.
Australia’s harsh summers mean that our homes need extra protection from the light and heat during the hottest months, particularly homes with many windows.
A good quality awning can block up to 80% of the direct heat on windows. They are particularly effective on east and west-facing windows which received the full force of the morning and afternoon sun.
Awnings can lessen your reliance on electric cooling devices, reducing your energy bills and having a positive impact on the environment. Retractable awnings can be rolled up in winter to let in light and heat.
Interior blinds are also a good way to reduce heat and light during the day, but should be rolled up as the temperature drops.
Heat from your roof cavity is conducted through your ceiling and flows into your house. To reduce the internal temperature of your home, consider investing in more ceiling insulation. This has the additional effect of keeping your home warmer in winter.
Other Ways to Heat-Proof Your Home
- Seal window cavities, hinge doors, skirting boards and wall vents, to block out as much heat as possible.
- Plant deciduous trees which provide shade in summer and let the sun in during winter
- Set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise in summer; this will push the air straight down to create a cooling effect
- Close off rooms that aren’t in use, to keep the cool air where you need it most.
- In the cooler evenings, open up doors and windows and roll up blinds to let internal heat dissipate
- A bowl of ice in front of a fan will create a cool breeze. Fans use very little electricity and are a good alternative to air conditioning when the heat is not extreme.
Preparing Your Home for Bushfire Season
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) recommends that everyone in Victoria who lives near dense forest, bush, grassland or the coast, needs to prepare their property for the threat of bushfire. Fires can also occur where the suburbs meet the bush or in urban areas where houses have grass, bushland or parkland around them.
You can reduce flame and heat near your house by doing the following:
- Keep lawns short – between 5 and 10cm.
- Where possible, keep garden beds away from the house.
- Keep garden beds clear of weeds and remove any dead vegetation.
- Keep plants well-watered over warmer months (adhering to water restrictions).
- Keep woodpiles away from the house
- Store flammable liquids away from the house
- Get rid of dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark.
- Prune lower branches of shrubs to separate from surface fuels underneath
- Prune shrubs well away from tree branches
- Cut back overhanging branches – there should be no branches within 10 metres of buildings
A well-prepared property also has gutters clear of leaf litter, a lawn less than 10cm, a well -watered garden and no flammable items such as boxes, furniture and doormat on decks and verandahs.
Have you renovated your home to make it more summer-friendly? The Home Inspection Hub can help with a Special Purpose inspection. If you’re ready to sell, call us to see if you need an Owner Builder Defect Report. Our qualified inspectors can send their completed report straight to your conveyancer for your convenience.
Phone us on 1300 071 283 or visit our website for more information.
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