This summer we’re enjoying a bit of a prolonged heatwave, and so it might seem odd for a company who are used to offering expert advice on insulation to be talking about how to keep your home cool. But the right insulation, correctly installed in the right places, can not only keep your home warm throughout the coldest winter, but it can also enable your home to stay cool and fresh in the heat of the summer.

Here are some of our 5 top tips to help you and your family survive the heatwave…..

Tip 1: Improve the Insulation Levels in Your Home

Most people know that insulation will keep your home cosy in the colder months. It does this by preventing heat from escaping the building. But what many do not realise is that it’s good at stopping heat entering your home in the summer months too.

If you’ve ever ventured into your loft in height of the summer, you will know just how hot it can get up there! The materials most roofs are made of absorb heat, and then they transfer this heat to the space underneath – your loft. Without a decent amount of insulation, all this heat will just radiate down into your bedrooms and the rest of your home!

However, the good news is that by improving your roof and loft insulation, you can prevent this happening, and keep the whole of your home cooler in the summer. Insulation within the walls, loft and roof will prevent the conduction of heat. If you install the right levels of insulation, it will help to regulate your property’s internal temperature. This will make it a more comfortable place in which to live, whatever the British weather throws at you.

Just a few extra cms of insulation can make all the difference!

Expert Advice on Insulation

Here at CLPM we can provide independent, expert advice on insulation for both residential homes and commercial properties. We can assess how your home is built and its energy efficiency performance. We can then give practical advice on how best to both boost your property’s insulation to improve its energy efficiency and reduce your running costs.

Tip 2 : Check the Air-Tightness of Your Home

Preventing air from moving in and out of your home can help keep your home warm in the winter, and cool in the summer months. Air-tightness is good at slowing the flow of heat from a warm place to a cold one.

It’s generally the case that most UK homes are ‘leaky’ and could do to be more airtight. In winter air leaks are draughts, uncomfortable around your feet or down you neck and also losing heat. In summer, controlling air flow can create a much wanted cooling breeze – but it is better to control this so you don’t fill the house with hot sticky air in the middle of the day. Over-night cooling is often best.

Expert Advice on Air Tightness

As with insulation it makes sense to get expert advice before reaching for the foam gun and sealing up your home! Air tightness is about controlling the air movement in, around and out of your home. It’s important to get expert advice to make sure it is done in such as way to suit your home’s use, aspect and construction. Here at CLPM we can take your house designs and make calculations on aspects such as solar gain and air changes etc. to ensure your home does not over-heat.

Tip 3 : Reduce Solar Gain

During the hottest part of the day, a window can allow up to ten times as much heat into you house as an insulated wall. So during a heatwave, solar gain via your windows is one of the main ways that the heat is going to be amplified in your home.

You can prevent this from happening by installing specialist glazing, or else by closing shutters, blinds and curtains, especially on south-facing walls. At the design stage careful choice of location, orientation and size of windows and overhangs will make a huge difference and avoid over-heating. Another thing you can do to help reduce the spread of warm air during the day, is to close off unused rooms, to prevent the warm air from permeating these areas.

Expert Advice on Solar Gain

If you’d like to understand more about how solar gain and the how the choice of and sizes of windows for your building project might affect the comfort of your home, then we can help. We can look at your plans and help you understand how your home will perform in all conditions, and help advise on how best to ensure you make the most informed decisions.

Tip 4 : Maximise the Benefits of Air Circulation

Controlling air circulation can play a huge role in keeping your home cool.

In the morning, do as they do in the Mediterranean. To keep your house cool, you need to keep the hot air out, so this means keeping windows – particularly south-facing windows – closed and covered during the day. So when the sun starts to come up close all your windows, and shutters etc. If your home is well insulated it will take quite a while for your home to heat up. You can then hopefully maintain a cool temperature though the morning and into the heat of the middle of the day.

Then at night time, when the air temperature has dropped, you can open everything up to give your house a good airing. Open as many windows as you can to allow the old heated air from the day to escape, and the new cool air to flow through your home. This is important, as if you do have good insulation the heat from the day isn’t going to be able to get out of your home! You need to let the heat out when the weather is at its coolest.

However, if it all gets a bit too hot during the day and you really must open a window, make sure you do so in a way that encourages a through draught. As we all know from using hand or electric fans, moving air is cooler than still air, after all. Opening windows at different ends of the house and keeping internal doors open means the air can move through freely through your home. But still keep curtains and blinds closed to deflect any direct sunlight.

Expert Advice on Ventilation

Some homes require specialist ventilation systems such as Passiv or Eco-homes. We can check your plans and advise you on how best to ventilate your home.

Tip 5 : Switch off Un-Necessary Appliances

It’s pretty obvious that ovens create heat, so a hot summer day is maybe not the best time to do some baking!

However, it’s less well known that you can also reduce the amount of additional heat in your home by switching off any other appliances. Lights, TVs, laptops and computers games will all generate heat, so if you unplug them you will get a benefit.

Make sure your heating really is off (not accidentally left on after a service or adjustment) and hot water timers are set to the minimum required, or the heat from the boiler and pipes will add to the over-heating.

Are you interested in expert advice on insulation for your home or building project? We can review your designs and plans to ensure you are planning to build in such a way to ensure your home will be as comfortable as possible. If you’d like to understand more how we can help then do get in touch.

Call 01923 896550, email info@cl-pm.com or complete a contact form.

CLPM Project Managers cover London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex. Energy Consultancy and Cost Advice services available across the UK.