From keeping the sun off your windows to reducing your air-conditioning bills, there’s plenty you can do to make your home – and everyone in it – as cool and safe as possible this summer.
Work your windows
It’s a simple rule: when it’s cool outside, let the air in; when it’s hot outside, keep it out. Generally, this means opening your windows at night for those welcome cool breezes and closing everything up during the day
Cool tip: don’t forget to consider your pets’ comfort as well.
Set some screen time
Screen your windows from the outside with shades, shutters, eaves or plants to keep the hot summer sun off them (if you choose deciduous plants, they’ll lose their leaves in winter and let the winter sun in). The next best thing is screening the inside of the windows with curtains or blinds.
Cool tip: Indoor plants play a part in improving your indoor air quality can help keep you cool too. So go a bit potty!
Expand your fan base
Fans are cheap to run. So try a fan first, before reaching for the air-con remote. And make sure your ceiling fans are on the summer setting: running anticlockwise and pushing air down.
Cool tip: putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan can help cool the air further.
Go easy on the breezy
In most homes, on very hot days, the air conditioning is the only thing that hits the spot. To use air-con without blowing a big hole in the family budget:
- Only use it when you really need to
- Don’t set it too cold. A one degree difference can reduce your cooling bill by 10 per cent, so instead of setting your air-con to 20°C, set it to somewhere between 24 and 27°C. You’ll still feel the benefits
- Get your aircon unit serviced regularly
- It’s a big investment, but consider solar panels so you can power your air-con cheaply and guilt-free
It's another big investment, but consider insulation for your ceiling, walls and under the floor. And block gaps around windows and doors. It will keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.
You’ll want to keep those soft drinks icy cold for when a thirst strikes, but there’s no need to overdo it. Set your fridge temperature to 4 or 5°C and your freezer to between -15 and -18°C, it’ll run more efficiently and help you save on your bill.
If you haven’t already, switch to LED globes. They’re not only cheaper to run than the old incandescent bulbs, they radiate less heat.
It’s cool to stay safe
Finally, always remember to stay safe during summer.
- Fire safety - don’t overload power points, make sure you have working smoke alarms, and have an escape plan. Your state fire authority will have more information
- COVID-19 safety: be aware of your local regulations if you’re socialising this summer
- Pool safety: if you have a pool, run through a pool-safety checklist and make sure everyone knows the rules about using it.