Rosie didn’t know much about ceiling insulation when she first built her home in 1999.
She had too many other decisions to make and didn’t prioritise this one. As a result, the ceiling was filled with a loose-fill fibreglass product.
When educated by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority years later, Rosie took a look at her insulation. She discovered that the loose fluff had dispersed and blown to the corners in many sections and settled. Settling occurs when insulation gets old, loses its loft and reduces in height.
Rosie said “In deciding to upgrade my insulation I chose to install more than the minimum required under the building code. I’d learnt my lesson and wanted to be warm in winter.”
Even though a minimum of R2.9 insulation was required in Rosie’s home, she had R3.6 Mammoth ceiling blanket installed – the amount usually installed in the South Island.
To Rosie’s surprise, she finds her home a comfortable temperature in winter, and in the height of summer while working at home during Covid 19.
Rosie explains how she keeps the additional heat out during the mid-afternoon when the sun streams into her north-west facing windows. “I just pull the thermal curtains to keep the direct sunlight out. It’s great to have a cool refuge inside especially while I’m working.”
Adapted from Brightr, (January 3rd 2022). Summer Insulation Case Study.
Keep cool with Green Dog: Tips and tricks to keep cool this summer for as little as 10c
Tired of battling the heat to get a good night’s sleep? Try House Doctor Nelson Lebo’s tricks to cool down your home at the end of a hot summer’s day.
Turn your fan around!
At night, take advantage of the cooler outside temperatures and swap out the warm air inside your home with cool outside air.
As soon as the afternoon temperature outside begins to drop after sunset, point your fan out the window to blow the hot air out. Open a window on the shady side of the house to draw the cool air in.
Lebo says the fan trick is the best low-cost highly effective technique to keep a home cool because fans use almost no power.
Most people are using the fan in a way that’s not the best for cooling down their house. Instead, they are blowing the hot air around their house. A fan will circulate warm air giving the illusion of cooling the skin while not doing anything for the temperature.
For a good night’s sleep…
Instead of having the fan pointed at your bed, open a single window in your bedroom and point the fan out the window in another room to create a cooling draft. This technique will replace the warm air in the room with cooler air, reducing the temperature.
John Hornblow from Palmerston North said the House Doctor’s solution meant he and his wife Jenny could sleep comfortably in a cool room, for about 10c.
“It’s brilliant, it dropped the temperature in our room significantly.”
The volume of air that comes in matches the volume of air that goes out, creating a cooling breeze. Lebo believes you could be pushing out 26-degree air, and drawing in 16-18 degree air.
Alternatively, you could close all windows except for one in your bedroom and turn on the bathroom extractor fan for the “best night’s sleep ever.”
Like using the kitchen extractor to remove cooking and heat smells, or the bathroom fan to take remove steamy air the theory remains the same – hot air out, cool air in.
Cross ventilation can also be achieved in any room that has two windows.
Treat your home like a chilly bin
In winter we use curtains to keep the warm air in at night. Curtains, especially floor length can be used in Summer to keep the heat out during the day.
After bringing the cool air in overnight try to keep it there by keeping doors and windows closed and curtains drawn. This will delay your house from heating up on a hot morning and prevent hot air from entering.
In winter we use curtains to keep the warm air in at night. Curtains, especially floor-length, can be used in Summer to keep the heat out during the day.
Keeping curtains drawn on the east-facing windows in the morning will keep the sun out, and against the west-facing windows as the sun moves around.
Curtains not needed for privacy can also be left open at night allowing hot air to escape.