Best home design strategies to beat a summer heatwave

24 February 2024

We’ve sweltered, we’ve swum, and we’ve survived summer!

Already this year, Perth has seen nine days with temperatures of more than 40C.

And while most of us are hoping Perth’s annual heatwave is behind us, now isn’t a bad time to start considering how we can make our homes more bearable when extreme heat hits.

From double glazing and improved ventilation to solar power and greening our homes to reduce the impact of the heat, here are a few things to consider before next summer rolls around.

Green your home

One of the easiest and most practical ways to reduce the impact of heat is to increase the greenery and trees around your home. Strategic planting can provide extra shade, which will help take the bite out of the summer sun, particularly on those super hot days.

Natural ventilation
Natural ventilation is a key opportunity to reduce your reliance on air-conditioning. If you’re building new or renovating, purposefully positioning your windows can boost cross ventilation. Ceiling fans can also improve natural ventilation even when the windows aren’t open, and are one of the cheapest cooling options with the lowest greenhouse impact.

Double glazing

When it comes to unwanted heat, windows and large expanses of glass are a liability. To reduce your use of cooling, it may be worth exploring double glazing or tints to your windows. As well, block-out blinds and heavy curtains that keep the sun out should be drawn during the heat of the day.

Solar power

More West Australians are realising the benefits of powering their homes with solar energy, and it’s a no brainer when the sun is plentiful and a naturally derived power supply. As well as helping to drive down utility costs, solar power is less of an impost on the environment when we do have to resort to running our air-conditioning systems.

Building materials

If you’re building new or renovating, the use of thermal materials will naturally help keep your home cooler. Choose brick or rammed earth if you want to keep your home cooler, rather than timber.

Swimming pools

Without a doubt, one of the most refreshing ways to beat the heat is to take a dip in your own swimming pool. Pools are one of the most popular ways to cool down, with research showing that one in seven Australians live in a home with a swimming pool or spa – and that number is growing.


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