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Shade the parade


Utilizing shade effectively is crucial in tropical regions like Darwin to stay cool and reduce energy consumption in your home. Here's a list of ways people can use shade around their homes in the Darwin region: 

  1. Outdoor Shade Structures: Install outdoor shade structures such as pergolas, shade sails, or awnings to provide cover for patios, decks, and outdoor living spaces. Use natural materials for shade structures to enhance airflow and minimize heat absorption 

  2. Planting Shade Trees: Plant native, fast-growing trees strategically around the house to provide natural shade. You should also look for water wise trees and shop around at locally owned and operated nurseries. This ensures you are buying native plants that are suited to the Top End. Check out the City of Darwin's Preferred Trees for Darwin list and the Gardens for Wildlife pages for more information on the best trees to plant in this area. 

  3. Pot plants: Use pot plants inside and outside to create shade. Putting plants and indoor trees near windows can also block sunlight, providing shade and reducing indoor heat and glare. Plants can help cool the air through transpiration. They can also be placed strategically on surfaces that reflect a lot of sunlight, like outdoor tiles and patios. 

  4. Vertical greenery: Install trellises or lattices with climbing plants to create shaded walkways or outdoor seating areas. Grow climbing plants or install vertical gardens on these or on walls facing the sun to provide shade and insulation. Greenery can cool the air, enhance air flow and create a more comfortable microclimate.

  5. Shade cloth: Install shade cloth on windows, pergolas, or carports to block direct sunlight while maintaining airflow. Choose shade cloth with varying levels of shade, depending on the specific needs of each area

  6. External blinds: Install external blinds or shutters to block the sun during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for light-coloured materials to reflect rather than absorb sunlight. Get creative!

  7. Indoor window treatments: Use light-coloured curtains or blinds on windows to reflect sunlight and heat. Consider insulated window coverings to reduce heat transfer. 

  8. Create Shade for AC Units: Place shade structures or plants around air conditioning units to reduce their exposure to direct sunlight. This helps the units operate more efficiently. 

  9. Adjustable Shade Solutions: Use adjustable shade solutions like roll-up blinds or retractable awnings to control the amount of shade based on the time of day and weather conditions 

  10. Cooling Landscape Design: Plan landscaping to include natural features such as ponds or water features, which can have a cooling effect on the surrounding area. Use natural materials and plants which will not absorb heat.  

By combining these strategies, you can create a more comfortable living environment while reducing the need to excessive air conditioning. 

COOLmob Tip: If you have areas of concrete or brick walls that are exposed to sunlight, this will increase the ambient heat. You can put that sun and heat to good use by placing pot plants on exposed areas which will reduce heat radiation from these areas.