This is the best season of the year to spend some time on the beach, but if you are the one to stay indoors, you must already be thinking how to keep the house cool this summer. While air conditioning might be the easiest option, it isn’t very pocket-friendly. As the summer heat intensifies, here are some ways to keep your homes cool without spending much on artificial ways of cooling.
- Create Shade: Trees, umbrellas and canopies all create shade. Also, plan your trees strategically. While this may be a long-term plan, it is a great natural shade. Plant them in locations, where the sun hits the house the most during summers.
- Cook Smart: Go for lighter meals that do not require a lot of cooking and cook during the cooler parts of the day. You can go for more salads and fruits which need minimal or no cooking and also keeps the body cool.
- Move the Air: Catch a breeze where you can by keeping windows open during cooler hours. You can open the windows in opposite directions for cross ventilation or on lower and upper floors to create what is called the “stack effect” where warm air exits the upper level and draws in cooler air at the bottom level.
- Block the Heat: Get the ductwork of the air conditioning system checked for leaks and get it fixed if required. Leaks can diminish system performance by 40%. Apart from this, air leaks in and out from various places in the house, so air sealing can help to keep the cool breeze in and keep the warm air out. Caulk and foam sealants can help seal ducts and other wall and ceiling openings. Also, keep the windows and vents shut during the hottest and humid hours of the day. Use blinds, drapes or window shades to keep the sunlight out.
- Re-evaluating and Maintaining Air conditioners: Check the air conditioner filters at regular intervals and clean or replace them as required. Also, get the maintenance done annually by a trained professional. If you are looking at upgrading your air conditioner, pick one with a high energy star rating and choose an appropriate size as per the requirement of the room to ensure maximum cooling and energy efficiency.
Apart from this, wear light and loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton and also use cotton bedsheets. Also, sip icy cold drinks and put a damp cotton cloth around your neck and other pressure points in the body to stay cool. Make the most of a cool breeze when you can and enjoy the summer.
Lastly, keep a check for all updates around fire ban and bushfire on the ACT Emergency Services Agency facebook page