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Keeping your home cool

The summer heat has already settled into its steady bake, making us seek cool refuge in our homes. While our homes are generally designed to keep the heat out, they could function better. Citadel Insurance offers a few tips on how we can make our homes more comfortable, both for our planet and ourselves.

Keep the sun out

The sun will heat your home as surely as a log fire, so keep its rays at bay.

“Paint the roof white to reflect the sun’s rays,” says Ing. Paul Refalo. “Also, applying thermal insulation to the walls and roof will prevent heat leaking into your home.”

Add canopies, shades and blinds to walls and glazed apertures such as windows. These will all act as barriers, reducing the sun’s impact.

Cooling from inside

“An open window allows your home to cool through ventilation,” Refalo explains. “Adding fans will move air around.”

The more electrical equipment you have running, the warmer your home will get, so switch off any unnecessary appliances.

When it comes to air-conditioning, keep your temperature set around 23 or 24 degrees centigrade. Further lowering the temperature will not make the air-conditioner cool the room quicker. Keep doors and windows closed to keep your cool air in. Also, ensure your air-conditioning unit is serviced and runs efficiently.

Run your fridge efficiently

Keep your fridge away from other sources of heat or it won’t run properly.

“Make sure that the back is well ventilated and avoid pushing the fridge right up against the wall,” Refalo says. “That will allow the fridge to function better.”

Try to minimise the times you open the fridge. Each time you do so you let warm air in and force the fridge to cool again. Also, if ice forms in your freezer, defrost it. Leaving the ice there will result in an increase in electrical consumption by your appliance.

PV panels harness the sun’s energy

Photovoltaic panels are an excellent way to make your home greener. The technology is also more affordable given that the photovoltaic grant scheme for 2015 offers up to 50 per cent of the total eligible expenditure on PV panels, up to a maximum of €2,300. There is also a feed-in tariff of 16.5c per kWh guaranteed for six years.

“Do make sure they are installed by accredited people or you could find that your panels do not work as you hoped,” Refalo notes.

Keeping your panels clean as will checking that the inverter is actually feeding to the grid will also help their efficiency.

“Many times a tripped circuit can go unnoticed and the PV system stops generating power,” he says so.

Be cool about insurance

Citadel Insurance helps you to protect your investment in your home with its eco policy, offering insurance savings on green homes. Citadel Insurance also offers a specific policy that allows you to insure your PV panels only.

For more information visit www.citadelplc.com or any Citadel Insurance branch in Malta and Gozo. Citadel Insurance is regulated by the MFSA to offer a full range of insurance products, including car, travel, home, marine, business, and life.

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