The weather on the Australian continent can go the extremes. Due to its vast size, we experience a variety of climates. It doesn’t have one seasonal calendar. Part of Australia belongs to the Temperate Zone, which has summer, autumn, winter and spring. The other part belongs to the Tropical Zone, which is further subdivided into three: Equatorial, Tropical and Subtropical. This zone has wet and dry seasons.
Summer in Australia falls in December to February, and temperatures can range from 18.6° to 25.8° Celsius, while humidity can spike up to 65%. Some will say that summers in Australia can be the worst, with the unbearable heat and humidity. With the onslaught of the summer heat, it is important to keep our homes cool, to keep the heads of the people inside cool, too.
Below are some tips in surviving the summer heat and keeping our homes a better and more comfortable place to stay in.
1. Cover up.
Up to 30% of heat comes in to your house through the windows and covering them up can make you save on your electric bills and keep the temperature inside your home lower. Use blinds on east and west facing windows to keep direct sunlight from coming in.
Using external window coverings, such as awnings, roller shutters, or shade sails, can help in keeping direct sunlight from getting into the house. It’s better to keep the sun’s heat from reaching the glass. For a cheaper alternative, you can make shade cloths to cover your windows. Cut the cloth slighter bigger than the size of your windows to give ample coverage.
2. Insulate the house.
Adding wall and ceiling insulation can help stop the heat flow and significantly lower the temperature of your home. Without proper insulation, the heat will conduct through the ceiling and flow through the house, heating it up. Insulation will not only cool your home in the summer, it will also keep your home warm in the winter season,
3. Let the breeze in.
Temperatures usually drop once the sun sets. Once the evening breeze starts blowing, open up your doors and windows to make the most of these cooler hours. This is the cheapest way to cool your sun-baked home. Opening up your home will also let the heat accumulated during the day out.
4. Close those doors.
Close the doors of the rooms you won’t be using during daytime. If you are using air conditioning, this will allow for the effective cooling of the rooms that you are actually using and staying in during the day.
5. Use the electric fan and ice combo.
If you have an electric fan, place a bowl filled with ice in front of it. The air that the fan blows will be much cooler, effectively lowering the temperature of your room.
6. Have proper ventilation in the house.
Ventilation lets hot air out of your house. Have ventilation in your ceiling, as well as in rooms that make use of appliances that generate heat, such as your kitchen and bathroom.
7. Take care of your appliances.
Take good care of your electric fans and air conditioning. Clean the filter of your air conditioner and make sure that the outside motor is well shaded. You do not want these appliances to break down when you really need them to cool your head.
8. Make the most of your backyard.
Carefully selected and positioned plants can help in keeping your house cooler in the summer. Trees can provide shade against the harsh sun and can serve as a shield against the hot winds. You can also have creepers in your pergolas as additional protection or cover for your windows. Not only do plants beautify your home, they can also keep it cool too.
9. Change your sheets.
This should be a no brainer. Change your sheets into something that is made of 100% cotton, which is more breathable, and thus cooler to your skin. Have them in light colours instead of dark, which absorb more heat.
Keeping cool in the summer should not be difficult, if you keep your wits and follow these tips. While keeping your home cool is important in the summer, it is more important to keep yourself cool and hydrated. Stay out of the sun during noontime, and drink lots of water. A cool head and a healthy body will equate to a fun-filled summer.