The weather is starting to heat up here in Australia so I thought it was about time I shared some tips to cool your home for summer without having to crank the air-conditioner, saving you money and reducing your impact on the planet. For those of you in the northern hemisphere, you might be better off with my winter warming tips instead!
Much like the post I did back in winter, these tips are for the most part applicable no matter whether you live in an apartment or a house, and whether you are renting or are in your own home. I can’t guarantee they will keep you cool in a stretch of 40+ days, but hopefully they will at least help make things easier to cope with, and if you do have an air-conditioner you won’t have to have it blasting at full speed!
Block Air Drafts
Drafts aren’t just a problem with cold air in winter, they are problematic in summer as well. You want to keep all the warm outside air out for as long as possible, so it’s important to fill any gaps around windows and doors with gap sealers, or for a less permanent option, a door snake. They’re a cheap option that really do make a difference!
Use Fans Properly
Fans should be used to cool the person not the room, so don’t leave them on once you leave a room, they’ll be doing nothing! If you need new fans go to the ceiling fan shop located in Singapore. If your ceiling fans spin in both directions then they should be going anti-clockwise in summer, so make sure you’re not pushing that hot air back down on to you by mistake! If you have a standing fan then the most effective way to cool yourself is to spray yourself with cold water whilst standing in front of the fan, or if you’re trying to sleep then place a bucket of ice or cold water in front of the fan, and position it close to you. Having the ice or water will mean the air that reaches you will be much cooler than just pushing warm air around your room. It really works, I promise!
Keep a Wet Cloth in the Fridge or Freezer
Putting a wet cloth straight from the fridge or freezer onto your feet or the back of the neck will help to quickly lower your body temperature and can be an easy way to keep cool, particularly when you’re trying to sleep. Sure, your bed might get a little wet but it’s better than not sleeping! I find face washers particularly good for this as not only are they are absorbent but they are a good size for those key parts of your body.
Shade Your Windows
In order to keep as much of the harsh heat of the sun from your home it’s important to properly shade your windows, particularly any facing west and east. Do you want to protect your home? Of course you do! If you feel like you need Westral window shutters, visit the link to gain more information and avail expert services. This can be done in any number of ways, through the installation of awnings (which can be temporary or permanent), external louvers, or even plants. For more on the best windows which you can use for your house check out the Shuttercraft website.
Keep the House Closed Up
During the hottest part of the day you should close up all your curtains to keep out as much of the harsh sun and therefore heat as you possibly can. The thick, lined curtains I spoke about back in my winter warming tips are equally effective in summer and really reduce how much your home will heat up during the day. Once the outside air temperature cools down you want to open up as many windows and doors as you can, particularly if they are on opposite sides of your house to allow a cross-breeze and flush all the warm air out. Just watch out for mozzies!
Turn off Lights & Electronics
Lights and electronic appliances emit heat even if they are on standby, so it’s best to switch off anything you don’t need to be using, not only will this reduce the amount of heat in your home but they’ll reduce your energy bills as well (which if you’re running fans and air-con you’ll be very grateful for!). Luckily daylight savings in the Eastern states means we get sunlight until quite late in the evening at the peak of summer so you can leave the lights off for quite some time without having to stumble around in the dark! It’s a good opportunity to switch off the TV and computer and do some simpler activities as well!
Eat Cold Meals
Just like in winter we gravitate towards hearty, warming meals in summer we should eat fresh, cool meals like salads. Not only does this mean we can avoid turning on our ovens and therefore heating our homes unnecessarily, but the cold food will help us stay a bit cooler as well. If you can’t live on salads alone then foods you can heat quickly on the stove is always a good option, or crank the bbq outside! If you do need to use the oven then it’s best to do it earlier in the day before the outside temperature gets too high, so mornings are your best time to get baking!
Wear Clothes Made of Natural Fibres
There’s nothing worse than your clothes sticking to you when the weather is warm and the best way to overcome this is to wear clothes made of natural fibres like cotton or bamboo. These fibres will be ‘breathable’ and can help wick moisture away from your body and help you feel cooler and more comfortable. This is also important for your bedding – cotton & bamboo sheets are your friends here too! Some great Australian online shops for natural clothes and bedding are Biome ^ and Ettitude, I recommend checking them both out!
Take Cool Showers Before Bed
If you’re worried about not being able to sleep it’s best to have a cool shower (not freezing cold, just cool) shortly before heading to bed as it will reduce your core body temperature and help you to fall asleep. Combined with the wet cloth from your freezer you’ll be fast asleep in no time (unless it’s day 4 of one of those 40+ stretches in which case I don’t think anything could have helped me sleep!)
Clean Your Air-Conditioner Filters
The start of summer is the ideal time to clean out your air-conditioner filters and doing so will mean your system will run more efficiently and effectively and therefore you won’t have to run it as strongly to have the same impact. This will save you money by reducing the amount of energy required, saving the planet at the same time!
So there we have it! My top tips for cooling your home for summer without having to rely on an expensive, power hungry air conditioner! By following these tips you should be able to avoid turning on your air-con a lot of the time, and when you do need to use it you won’t have to set the temperature quite so low. 21-22 degrees is generally an ideal temperature, there’s really no need to have it blasting out at 18 or 19 degrees, and each degree warmer you have it saves a significant amount of power, and therefore a significant amount of money! If you are interested in finding out more ways to keep your house cool, check out Live Your Aloha.
What are your top tips for cooling your home for summer? Did I miss anything?
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