There is no need to point out that roasting ourselves outside in these heatwaves can be bad for our health. We do what we can to protect ourselves via sunscreens, shades, etc. But there is no way around it, as it’s simply too dam hot. While going to the beach can only help so much for a limited time, ideally, we would like to cool down and survive the scorching hot degrees for a while. We usually expect our home, our haven from the world, to provide us with protection.
And it can be just that with a little bit of help from us. Together, and with a bit of help from the following lines, we can keep the temperature cool and brush off any unwanted sweat, discomfort and, most importantly, diminish the effect of that dammed heatwave. There is no reason to bankrupt yourself by permanently running the AC and stack up the electric bill (ruining your health in the process). With a couple of life hacks and some practical know-how, you will see (and experience) fresh, cool changes in your home. Just a couple of degrees or Celsius that get trimmed down can make all the difference in the world. So, it’s time to take control and tell the heat to “Cool off” since we still want to keep this civil.
1. Adapting your habits
We can learn a lot from other cultures. Hight temperatures and insufferable heat are not something that is native only to Australia but throughout the world. And many people and nations have developed their hacks to deal with it. After all the first AC was invented in 1902 and we somehow survived all those hot summers before. So, from the Southern parts of Europe, we can see and learn that residents keep their windows closed throughout the day and wide open at night. Simple and effective. By doing this, the blazing and dry air stays out of your home during the day. Come nightfall a refreshing night breeze gets invited inside to stay over. This principle is so practical (and most importantly, completely free) that many big corporations are even using it.
So, when you go to work, shut the windows, and stop the heat from entering. Then later, when you lay to bed at night, open your home up to the freshness that is just waiting outside.
2. Control your AC unit
As previously said, it is easier to crank up the AC all day, every day, but good luck with the electrical bill. Also, it can be bad for your health as big and sudden variations in temperature can be very harmful. Walking from an air-conditioned room that is at 22 Celsius to outside where it’s 40 degrees in a matter of seconds is a real shock to your body. So, you can start first by setting the temperature to be at a reasonable difference, compared to the outside. Generally speaking, if it is 35 outside, keep your home between 25-29 degrees.
Also, you can use a programable thermostat that allows you to program it, and it turns on during specifically set periods. Let’s say that you go to work in the morning and it turns on then and shuts off when you get home. Then, you enjoy the fresh air, while around the evening you open to the night air as previously described. Note that small fans can be great and practical. First, they use a lot less electricity. Secondly, just put a bowl of ice in front of them. This allows for them to blow cold air through the room and spread a fresh chilling breeze. With a fraction of the cost compared to the AC. One more life hack is how to set your ceiling fan. Yes, this is a thing.
During the summer it should spin counter-clockwise, pushing the air down and creating a colling effect with the air circulating. The opposite applies during winter or colder periods. Remember, cold air is heavier than hot air. Which means it goes down, while hot air goes up.
3. Create shade
Your house, your rules and if you say that heat is not allowed, you can do so. Show that heat who is in charge here. Close down your curtains as the reflection from your windows can amplify the Sun’s effect and contribute to the rising heat. Simple and effective roller blinds create much-needed shade and help bring the temperature down by a notch. Also, the same applies to your blinds and any other similar types that you have on your windows. If you have them, why not use them? Or you can invest a little bit and get a lot in the long run. The options are all here, it’s up to you to pick and choose.
4. Using nature
Yes, heat is natural but as they say “You have to fight fire with fire.” Maybe a bad example to take literally at the moment, but the principle is what applies here. Using natural ways to cool down can be effective, and sometimes even more effective, than fighting an uphill battle. For starters, your clothes and bedsheets should be of natural materials as they let everything breathe and thus helps in cooling down. Cotton is the best material for this. If ancient Egyptians used it, then why shouldn’t you do it as well during this summer?
Also, as they say, the best time to plant a tree is today or twenty years ago. Having trees close to your home can help cast shade and they naturally help keep the temperature down. So, they can be a green protector to your haven, while you help Mother Earth a lot by planting it (or several). The traditional way is to use wet sheets and hang them in front of your windows.
By “wet sheets” we don’t mean dripping wet so that it gets soggy and moist everywhere but a reasonably damp sheet. Then, simply hang them in front of your windows and nature will do the rest. The same thing will happen here, as when the ventilator is blowing in front of ice cubes. Hot air from the outside will blow thru the wet sheets and come inside all nice and cooled down.
5. Power down
Any electrical appliance generates heat. For starters, you can change lightbulbs. You can easily switch from halogen and incandescent ones but the best thing to cool down (and save cash) is to turn them off when they are not needed. Days are much longer during the summer so why not use the natural sunlight provided by the Sun for free? Shutting down any appliance that is not necessary also helps. If possible, don’t cook inside. Slaving and toasting yourself over the owner is no one’s idea of fun. Salads are light and easy to make where the oven is not needed, and you eat healthier.
Or barbeque and cook outside. The heat from the oven won’t heat your house and diminish any other effects and steps you previously took. And, one more hack to keep the power down and costs to a minimum are to move down. If your bedroom is upstairs, we would like to remind you that hot air goes up, cold air goes down. So, follow the breeze and sleep in, or move your bedroom, lower rooms. All the cooling down precautions that you took will have a greater effect there.
6. Investing is cool.
While various methods mentioned here are cost-effective and relatively cheap to implement (and some just outright save you cash), there is also an option for a long-term investment here. Two things come to mind and those are roof insulation and window tinting. Roof insulation can be a substantial investment and there is no going around there. As it functions all year long, it is not something worth being overlooked, in this battle against the heat. It stops and diminishes hot air and high temperatures in the summer as it helps to keep your house isolated from the burning desires of steaming air to heat your rooms.
And it keeps the same hot temperatures inside your home during the colder days once you try to heat your home. After a while, it pays for itself, only adding value to your home. And window tinting can stop UV lights, heating, and high temperatures from soaring in your rooms, especially if you have plenty of glass surfaces in your home. While there are do it your self-options, having trained professionals install them is our friendly advice on this one.
Armed with knowledge, you are not alone in the fight against the elements. An effective start and concrete action can help immediately and in the long run. You can notice the effects the same day and as you enjoy the fruits of your labor, the degrees will keep going down. Every method used that keeps the AC from running saves you a penny, helps your health, and is better for the environment. Planting trees and using nature to your advantage is a modern way of doing things.
It’s cool as collectively we can do a lot to help out in these times. So, while you enjoy the fresh and relaxing atmosphere of your cooled-down home, chill and lay back. You have done a great job and took control of your surroundings. Now, it’s time to cool off and reap the rewards of your intentions and efforts invested in your home.