How to weatherproof your home in time for summer
If we were to ask you how weatherproof your home is, would you be able to tell us? It’s not a question you’re commonly faced with, but with such a variable climate in Australia and another record-breaking summer on its way, it’s a question you should be able to answer.
Temperatures and heatwaves are predicted to increase over the coming years, with more extremely hot days to come. The need for keeping your home cool during the hotter months will be even greater than what they are now, particularly on days of extreme heat.
There will be up to 25 percent increase in days of very high or extreme fire danger, an increase in storm surges and severe weather events and an overall one degree Celsius of warming, resulting in more heatwaves.
What resonated with us is ‘good design for a changing climate is a design that is flexible enough to adapt to prevailing conditions while optimising the occupants’ comfort and house’s liveability’.
It’s about adapting your home to climate change and optimising the liveability and comfort of your house.
By the end of this article, if anyone were to ask you the question, ‘how do you weatherproof a home?’ you’ll be able to tell them exactly what needs to be done. Here are some simple ways to weatherproof your home and adapt to a changing climate.
6 ways to weatherproof your home before summer
Sealing windows and doors
An unsealed home can account for up to 15-25 percent of heat loss in winter and contribute to a significant loss of cooling when air conditioners are used. Air leaks can typically be found around unsealed windows and doors, with both areas responsible for over 10 percent of energy heat loss in a home.
Protect your home from heavy rainfall and strong winds using weather seals to plug up any gaps or air leaks you might have around windows and doors. By sealing internal doors, you will improve the functionality of your door, as it helps minimise the amount of sound, light, and draughts entering or exiting the home.
Sealing your home is one of the easiest and simplest ways of weatherproofing your home and can reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent.
Insulated garage doors
The garage door is the largest door opening in your home and can equate to up to a third of your front’s exterior. If it’s attached to your home, it can easily become an area of heat and energy loss, putting a strain on your heating and cooling systems.
You may have noticed how your energy bills tend to skyrocket at the beginning of summer and winter, and it’s probably due in part to the fact that your garage door is not weatherproof. Garage door panels and seal are the perfect solutions to creating a more energy-efficient home and reducing your energy bills.
They provide an additional sound barrier, effectively reducing outside noise, reduce heat loss and heat gain, and help keep unwanted pests outside where they belong.
Insulate your hot water system
Insulating parts of your hot water heater can provide savings on energy bills and effectively reduce the amount of heat loss. An insulation blanket can be wrapped around electric hot water units to keep the heat in.
They can also be applied to hot water pipes, particularly those that are externally exposed, leading from the water heater to the house and the pipe to the relief valve on storage systems. However, these blankets are not suitable for gas storage systems which use a pilot light due to them becoming a fire hazard when they get overheated.
Storm-proof garage doors
Storm-proof garage doors have been specifically designed to withstand the harshest of weather conditions down to your day-to-day sunshine and wind. Different brands of storm-proof garage doors utilise various materials, including corrosion-resistant colour bond steel.
If you live in a particularly volatile corner of Australia, you may need to look into upgrading to a storm-proof garage door to further weatherproof your abode.
Gutter leaf guards
When was the last time you cleared the gutters? Blocked gutters and drains not only cause water to overflow but can pose a potential fire hazard during the summer.
This is where gutter guards come in. Gutter leaf guards have been designed to keep leaves, other debris and pests out of your gutters, allowing for a clear path for water to flow to your downpipes.
Swimming pool covers
For swimming pool owners, covering your pool with a cover is the single most effective way of reducing pool heating costs.
A swimming pool loses energy in a variety of ways, with evaporation being the largest source of energy loss. The rate of evaporation is dependent on the pool temperature, wind speed, and humidity — the higher the pool temp, wind speed, and lower the humidity the greater evaporation rate you’ll find.
Pool covers assist by increasing heat retention, reduce the rate of evaporation by up to 97 percent, and running costs in terms of maintenance and pool chemical consumption by 35-60 percent. Save on energy use, maintenance costs and help keep unwanted debris and pests out of your pool with a swimming pool cover.
As we prepare ourselves for another scorcher of a summer here in Australia, make sure you’ve done your best to weatherproof your home. From saving immensely on energy costs to reducing fire hazards, increase your liveability by creating a home that’s flexible and comfortable to live in all year round.