Call: 01962 657180    email:  
Open Menu Schedule a Call

Summer Sustainability: Preparing your home for the warmer season

May 22, 2024

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

As the warmer months approach, many homeowners start thinking about ways to make their properties more comfortable and energy efficient. Summer can bring a host of challenges, from soaring temperatures to higher utility bills and discomfort for occupants.

But, with a few strategic updates, you can transform your home into a cool, sustainable oasis without breaking the bank or undertaking a full-blown renovation. So, let’s dive in and explore practical tips to help you prepare your home for the warmer season while still keeping it energy efficient.

Rotate ceiling fans counter-clockwise

Ceiling fans are a great addition to any room, providing a cost-effective and energy efficient way to stay cool as temperatures rise. Unlike air conditioning units, which are energy-intensive and expensive to run, ceiling fans provide a refreshing breeze to drop the temperature of the space a few degrees quickly. In the summer, set them to rotate counter-clockwise which circulates cool air and pushes it down into the room rather than up, optimising the cooling effect.

Invest in solar shading

Warmer weather means more time outdoors, so spend time in the lead-up to summer getting the exterior of your home ready for sunshine. From a sustainability perspective, there are additions you can make to prevent your home from overheating. Adding shade in the form of a pergola attached to your home can provide the perfect spot for relaxing outdoors while keeping indoor temperatures cooler through solar shading. A perfect alternative to external blinds for bi-fold doors or conservatories, pergolas and awnings reduce overheating and prevent your interior décor from fading in the sunlight too.

Plug air gaps

You may think plugging air leaks is only valuable in the winter, but the reality is it offers benefits year-round. A poorly insulated house can cause a jump in your utility bills, caused by cool air escaping in the summer, which increases the need for fans and air conditioners, and warm air leaving in the winter. Ultimately, by insulating your home effectively you keep the interior of your property at a more constant temperature, according to the seasonal variant. Check your loft insulation, any gaps around windows and exterior doors, and plug gaps in bare floorboards to keep your property more comfortable.

Be mindful of moisture

Humidity can be a problem in the summer, resulting in a higher risk of moisture and consequently mould growth and dust mites. Ideally, you want the interior of your home to stay between 40% and 50% humidity in the summer, so to maintain this, consider investing in a dehumidifier which will draw out excess moisture from the air and keep your home mould and moisture free.

Tint your windows

Hot summers are becoming increasingly common in the UK, but one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly ways to cool your home without the need for gadgets and energy intensive devices is by tinting your windows. Not only does tinted film add more privacy to each room but it prevents the sun’s heat from getting in – and all without compromising your view from inside. Tinted window film is affordable and really easy to apply, making it the perfect sustainable DIY task to tick off before the summer.

Add plenty of plants

Plants are a visually beautiful addition to any space, but they also offer the additional benefit of being able to cool the room down. Consuming hot air through respiration and increasing humidity through transpiration, they help to reduce the temperature of the room and offer the added bonus of sequestering carbon in the air. Adding a few potted plants to your windowsills can also help provide additional shade.

Install energy efficient blinds

Shades and blinds are the perfect solution to elevate your home’s aesthetics and keep it cool on warmer days. Cellular blinds are highly effective in providing a thermal buffer between your room and the sunshine, keeping heat out and maintaining a cooler temperature indoors. Alternatively, you may want to opt for automated blinds which work via a solar sensor, automatically rolling down when the sun hits so you can optimise the temperature inside without having to lift a finger.

Give your boiler some much-needed TLC

Over the winter, our boilers work overtime and while they’re still needed in the summer for hot water, the likelihood is you’ll be using it much less as the temperatures rise. This provides a perfect time in the year for a service to make sure your boiler is working well. Make sure the pressure is working efficiently and that the flow temperature is set correctly to save money on your gas bills. It’s also a good idea to turn the central heating on at least once or twice a month in the summer, just to prevent it from seizing up.

Update your garden

Spending more time in the garden doesn’t just mean sunbathing – there are changes you can make to ensure your garden works for you during the summer too. For example, you may want to add a water butt to collect rainwater for watering your garden with, helping you keep your garden looking great should any hosepipe bans come into effect. Adding a compost bin to your space also gives kitchen and garden waste a new lease of life, and makes the most of the warmer temperatures to kickstart the composting process.

An eco-friendly home makes those hotter summers all the more bearable, without it costing you more in utility bills. From switching to energy-saving alternatives to making the most of shades to prevent your home from overheating, there are many ways you can optimise your home for the summer season while also keeping it sustainable. Not only are these ideas great for a more comfortable home during the warmer months, but they also make a significant difference to the carbon footprint of your property which is great news for the planet.

More from the Buildpass Sustainable Construction Blog

More From Our Sustainability Blog

AECB Building Knowledge
BREEAM New Construction


Schedule a Call
Buildpass Logo 12 Foster Way Romsey Hampshire SO51 OAW Registered in England No. 11310114