Can’t hack the heat? Before you rush off to buy an expensive air-conditioner, there are a few simple tricks you can employ to keep the cool air indoors this summer.
Renovating guru and former contestant on The Block, Michael Duffy, shares his best and easiest DIY hacks for helping to weatherproof your home.
The gaps around your windows and door frames could be letting precious cool air escape your home – and blasting the hot heat in. First things first. On a windy day, conduct a DIY air leak test by holding a burning incense stick near the door or window frame you suspect has a leak. Shine a torch over the flame to see whether or not there is air escaping. Luckily, it’s a cinch to fix. Just grab yourself a flexible gap filler, such as Selleys No More Gaps Multipurpose. Ensure the area you’re filling is clean, dry and free of dust. Then press the lever to apply the product along the gap, smoothing over with a wet spatula to remove any excess product for a neat finish. Leave it to dry and you’re done.
Fact: An unfurnished window lets in a tonne more heat than a shaded one. This means you could be letting lots of cool air escape through insufficiently furnished windows too. “If you can stop the sun coming into the home, it’s one of the best forms of weatherproofing in summer,” Michael says. If you can’t stand the thought of blocking all the light from your home after a long winter, sheer curtains can help do the job. Michael opted for block-out blinds in the bedrooms and sheer curtains in the living areas of his home. “Sheers are more practical for living areas, because if you’re anything like us you want the light coming in,” he says.
On the front and back doors in his home, Michael attached a Raven weather strip as “an added precaution to stop draughts and wind-driven rain from entering the house”. Weather strips can be easily purchased for under $10 from your local hardware store. They come in standard door-width sizes (820mm or 915mm) so there should be no need to cut them down. Measure the width of your door before you buy a weather strip and simply screw the strip to the base of the door once you get home.
“You can purchase prefabricated window awnings, which go on the outside to stop the sun coming in,” Michael says. Aside from looking pretty cool – you can customise in shades of sunny yellow or nautical stripes – awnings on your windows will help to regulate the amount of solar energy that reaches the facade of your home via glass. This goes a long way to block direct heat and will help to lower your cooling costs significantly.
As a precaution against rainwater entering the home and to ensure clean flow of air through the house, simple home maintenance goes a long way, Michael explains. Here are three home maintenance tasks to stay on top of: