The beginning of summer is always welcome but sometimes the heat can be stifling. Keep in mind that air conditioning might not be good for your health or wallet. Did you know that air con has been known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionnaire’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia? It also makes you more vulnerable to catching a cold and flu...not to mention drying your skin!
Here are some ideas to keep it cool naturally:
Ditch the winter doona! Changing seasons means changing the type of bedding. Consider lightweight quilts and covers. Natural fibres like cotton and linen are ideal for your sheets because they boost airflow during sleeping. Look at lower thread count like 300-400 so it's not too heavy. Even the colour makes a difference because light colours reflect heat from the sun instead of absorbing it.
Flick the switch
Avoid unnecessary heat by unplugging all appliance when not in use. Electrical outlets continue emitting energy and heat even if not in use.
Create a breeze
Fans are an energy efficient way to cool. It is also more natural. The easiest solution is to get portable fans. If you can, install ceiling fans in areas where you spend most of your time - like the lounge room and bedroom. The ideal placement is to position any fan across from open windows to encourage circulation and make the most of breezes. If you have ceiling fans with speed settings, adjust them to rotate counter-clockwise at high speed as this creates a wind chill breeze effect. Lastly, turn on your bathroom exhaust fan and leave it on as this will expel hot air out of the room.
Block out the heat
Keep the heat out by closing blinds and drawing curtains. Black out curtains are effective in blocking out heat from the sun.
Keep it closed
If it is hot outside, keep your windows closed. If there is a cool breeze, open them. This rule also applies to doors.
Be shady in a good way
Strategically placed trees outside can make a world of difference to your home. Planting them on the north side will give you the most benefit. Once a tree reaches three meters it will pay off in spades. Shade will make you feel 10 - 15 degrees cooler because you are sheltered from sun radiation.