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How to Keep your Home Cool in Summer: 9 tips

10 January 2024

Summer temperatures are getting hotter and hotter and it is important to know how to defend yourself against them, especially if your home is not equipped with an air conditioning system. Here are some tips for keeping your home cool in summer.

The heat coming into the house can have a negative impact on everyday life in summer, especially for those who work or study and therefore need to concentrate. Rest, then, is particularly disturbed by high temperatures and humidity, which is certainly not conducive to sleep. Yet, even when you do not have air conditioning – and, in any case, to cool your home in an eco-sustainable way – it is possible to overcome the problem of heat by lowering room temperatures as naturally as possible. In this, METRA Building aluminium windows and doors can be essential allies.

 

How to keep the heat out and make a house cooler in summer

 

Airing out rooms, making use of natural lighting, relying on shading systems, but also cooking without appliances, favouring light colours, switching off electronic devices… There are many remedies to keep your home as cool as possible in summer. Some are more effective, others produce a minimal change but, if taken together with others, can really make a difference.

 

Airing the rooms at the right times

 

The hot summer sun is usually pleasant, but when the sunlight is too strong, it is good to prevent it from entering the house and heating it up too much. Opening windows means letting outside air into the house: it is best to do this when the outside air is not too hot, i.e. in the evening or early morning hours. In this way, it is possible to ventilate the rooms in a natural way, but letting slightly cooler air into the house than the muggy air you breathe during the day.

Sliding windows or casement windows with bottom-hung opening, such as those produced by METRA Building, can also be opened only partially, thus allowing a gradual entry of outside air into the house, with a slower but also more controlled recirculation of air.

 

Using shading systems effectively

 

When it comes to keeping the heat out of the house and keeping it cooler during the summer, shading systems are the real stars. In fact, one of the main tasks of shutters, blinds and sunshades is to help keep the house well insulated from the outside air, maintaining as cool a micro-climate as possible in the summer while at the same time providing adequate air circulation. It is advisable to close the shading systems during the day if you are not at home, and then arrive in the evening to find cooler, more comfortable rooms. This one small measure can produce a temperature difference of up to 5°C.

METRA Building shading systems are made of aluminium, to ensure maximum resistance not only to the weather, but also to the most violent sunlight during the summer. They can be closed, opened and adjusted in different ways to suit the different needs of the occupants at different times of the day.

 

Minimising the use of artificial lighting

 

Artificial light produces heat, especially if classic incandescent bulbs are used. Keeping the lights off as much as possible therefore contributes to a cooler home; you may not realise how hot bulbs get, but not using them can really make a difference.

To be able to keep the lights off as much as possible, it is logical that the house must be exposed to adequate natural light. Rooms located to the south can be used for everyday life, as they receive more sunlight during the day.

A very valuable aid in this respect is provided by aluminium windows. Aluminium is in fact an extremely resistant material, which does not need large volumes to support even large glazed surfaces. It is therefore possible to obtain very slender profiles, just a few millimetres each; this makes it possible to increase the glazed part of the window – which in turn can be chosen with adequate solar shading – and to let in much more natural light, healthy and pleasant on the skin, inside the house.

 

Switching off appliances and electronic devices whenever possible

 

In the home, heat is not only provided by light bulbs. To keep the house cool in summer, therefore, one must minimise the use of all those appliances that produce heat when they are in operation. Again, this may seem like a minor trick, but when put into practice, it has a very positive effect on the cooling of the house.

Computers, televisions and other electronic devices get very hot if they are kept switched on for several hours: it is best to switch them off when not in use and not to leave their chargers plugged in. In the kitchen, you can also choose not to use the cooker and oven, when possible, to prevent the room from getting too hot.

 

Opting for light colours and fresh materials

 

It is well known that dark colours attract the sun’s heat the most. Choosing light colours for furniture, walls and fabrics, therefore, can be a great way to make your home cooler. In addition, light colours reflect light more: the house will be brighter in a natural way, so there will be no need to turn on lights and thus create unnecessary heat sources in the house.

In addition to having a light colour, the materials chosen should also give the house a sense of freshness. For example, light-coloured curtains made of linen or cotton are certainly fresher, lighter and more breathable than curtains made of a plastic material or heavier fabric. As far as window frames are concerned, aluminium is an ideal material, because it is cool to the touch without giving a perception of coldness. On the contrary, thanks also to the finishes, the colours and the almost infinite customisations, it gives rooms a feeling of comfort and lightness.

 

Decorating balconies (and more) with plants

 

Choosing to build glass and aluminium balconies is not only an aesthetically pleasing choice, it also helps to make the outdoor space of the house cooler and naturally lit. Installing an umbrella or awning (with UV protection) can help create useful shaded areas, but an even better job is offered by plants. For example, placing a climbing plant on the wall facing the balcony helps shield the sun’s heat and keep the interior cooler.

In general, plants are an excellent ally for keeping the house cool in summer. In addition to absorbing heat, they are also able to regulate the humidity level in rooms, helping to create a much cooler and more pleasant micro-climate.

 

Making the most of blades and fans

 

When we wonder how to cool a house, we immediately think of air conditioning.
Air conditioning has an economic impact both at the time of purchase and use, and if not properly maintained, it can negatively affect the healthiness of the air.

A good alternative can be a fan. Today, there are some very powerful and technological ones on the market; but simply placing a basin of water and ice in front of it maximises the effects of the more spartan ones. In the bedroom, it can also be interesting to install ceiling fans: they cool in a healthy, diffuse and controlled manner, are silent and consume a fair amount less energy than an air conditioner.

 

Creating air corridors

 

Sometimes all it takes to lower temperatures in the home is to create air circulation so that it moves and cools more easily. Even just keeping two doors open, facing each other, can contribute to better air circulation and increased coolness in the home.

Somehow, from this basic remedy comes the concept as simple as it is technological of Controlled Mechanical Ventilation (CMV). This is a system that operates without the use of electricity and is responsible for creating an effective circulation of air within the various rooms, as well as from the inside to the outside of the house and vice versa.

Some VMC systems may be assisted by a cooling function, but even if this is not the case, the normal circulation of air is sufficient to make it cooler, as well as healthier, cleaner and more pleasant to breathe, by reducing much of the humidity in the air itself. The VMC system is therefore an option to be considered when building or renovating a house in a modern and, above all, environmentally sustainable way.

 

Improving the insulation system of the house

 

If you are in the process of building or renovating your house, you may also want to think about structural and preventive measures to keep the house cool in the coming summers. A wall and roof insulation system, in fact, allows the house to be well insulated, keeping rooms warm in winter and cool in summer without too much effort.

Windows are also part of the housing envelope: they too must therefore be chosen critically. In fact, relying on low-quality windows means that between 15% and 40% of the internal air is lost, losing valuable heat in winter and equally valuable coolness in summer.

Of all the materials for window construction, aluminium is the most recommended in this respect: the most advanced thermal cutting technologies make it possible to create an insulating ‘buffer’ between the internal and external profiles of the window, preventing the dispersion of heat in winter and fresh air in summer. This excellent thermal insulation is in addition to the other invaluable benefits of aluminium, including a long service life and excellent resistance to weather and burglars. To guarantee all these advantages and eliminate any possibility of a thermal bridge that would nullify the efforts in terms of insulation, it is essential to remember to rely on professionals who are able to guarantee impeccable installation .

Choosing to insulate your home and install aluminium windows and doors means, therefore, also moving towards respect for the environment and the living comfort of the tenants. The initial investment is amply repaid by energy savings in the long term, and by a house that is pleasant to live in all seasons.

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