Make some shade
The best way to prevent the sun’s rays from heating your home is to stop them entering in the first place. Shading your windows on the outside is the key, especially on the northern and western sides, which is where the sun is at it’s harshest. Shade sails and awnings are an option or you could plant a tree for something more natural. If you’re doing this, make it a deciduous tree so the sun can penetrate into your home in winter.
Insulation installed in your ceiling prevents the hot air in the roof cavity from entering your home. It doesn’t just work during the day either! After your roof has been baking in the hot sun all day, the insulation prevents that heat from radiating into your home at night. If you’re installing insulation yourself, make it tight against the timber of your ceiling structure but don’t compress it as this reduces its effectiveness. Also, keep it around 20 cm from any downlights as this could be a fire risk.
Be window wise
Unless there’s a breeze blowing, keep your windows shut during the heat of the day. In the evening open them up to let cool air blow through your home. Opening up windows on opposite sides of your house will create cross ventilation, cooling everything in between.
Become a fan
Fans are one of the best defences against the summer heat. The moving air they create blows across your skin, evaporating any swat and helping to keep you cool. Have ceiling fans installed to cool a whole room while pedestal fans provide localised cooling.