For many people, summer means fun times with family and friends around the BBQ, beach cricket and delicious cheese boards by the pool. But when the scorching Aussie summer hits and it’s unbearable to be outdoors, it sometimes feels like cranking the air-con full blast is the only option to chill out.
In extreme heat it can be easy to disregard the energy bill in exchange for transforming your home into a freezer to avoid breaking a sweat, but it’s important to remember that using more energy means a higher contribution to global warming.
So instead, this summer, be kind to the environment and try a few alternative ways to stay cool before reaching for the air-con remote. It might even help you save some money on your energy bill.
One of the best ways to beat the heat is to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of H20. If you prefer your drinks flavoured, why not add some fresh fruits and herbs to the mix like lemon, lime and mint. And if a big glass of iced water doesn’t do the trick, try spraying yourself with it. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and mist yourself every now and then. As the water evaporates from your skin, it’ll help cool your body down.
Embrace the wet and wonderful
Call it a hot day hack if you please, but a wet washcloth or bandana is a refreshing saviour on any summer day. Just soak it in water and wrap it around your neck or forehead to keep your body cool. If it’s not cold enough for you, you can always pop it in the freezer before using it. While you’re next to the fridge, grab an icy pole to cool off while you wait.
Catch the drifts and drafts
There’s almost nothing better than a cool breeze on a hot day. So, if it’s windy outside or there’s a nice afternoon breeze, why not migrate from inside to outside. Grab your favourite book and sit under a shaded tree in the backyard while you enjoy the gust. You can also open all your windows and doors to let the fresh air circulate around your home or use a battery powered fan which will also help you reduce home energy costs.
Slide into your swimmers
For a long time, pools and beaches have been a summer staple for Aussies and is probably one of the quickest ways to cool down. So, pack the snacks and sunscreen, slip into your swimmers and head for your nearest watering hole. If you don’t own a pool, maybe you know a neighbour or friend who does. Give them a buzz and see if they’re up for an impromptu pool party where you supply the snacks in exchange for a splash.
Beat the heat with curtains
Shutting the curtains throughout your home is another great way to keep your house cool. By blocking out the sunlight, not only are you creating shade in your humble abode, but you’re also protecting your personal items from being damaged. This is because over time, the sun’s harsh rays can fade furniture, floors, carpeting, wallpaper, drapes, upholstery and artwork. It’s always a good idea to protect your precious belongings and one way you can do that is by making sure you have Home Contents Insurance.
Create a cool haven
There are probably rooms or parts of your house that are hotter than others because they face the sun or get lots of direct sunlight. You can shut the doors to these rooms and block off the heat by placing a towel or blanket along the bottom of the door to seal up any gaps where hot air can escape.
Dress for the occasion
Cotton fabrics are super breathable and help cool your body. So instead of wearing thick t-shirts and jeans, choose to wear light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, hemp and linen. The lighter coloured your clothes are, the cooler you’ll be, so avoid black or dark colours that tend to absorb more of the sun’s heat.
Avoid upper levels
Heat rises – it’s a fact. That means if you live in a two-storey house the upper level is most likely the hottest area of your home during the hottest parts of the year. Stay downstairs to chill out or kill two birds with one stone by doing your grocery shopping in an airconditioned shopping centre where it’s guaranteed to be cool.