Are you dreading summer? The end of year season brings great things: trips to the beach, barbeques, Christmas and music festivals, but oppressive heatwaves bring all these things to a halt. Without central or ducted air conditioning, 40 degree days will see you slumped in sticky armchairs, with barely enough energy to peel your sweaty body off the seat to go stick your head in the freezer.
Drawing the blinds is an excellent way to keep the heat out and save money on the electricity bill. Yes Blinds, Australia’s leading retailer of blinds, have got you covered on this, but here are a few more tips for keeping the house cool without running your decaying air conditioner into the ground.
Keep track of the forecast
Heatwaves come and go in bursts, so you want to be prepared. 2014 in South Australia saw a record breaking heatwave of 13 days above 40°, and our heatwaves are only getting longer and hotter. If you have some indoor work to do at home and you know it’s going to be a scorcher, seek refuge in a library or other air-conditioned building for the day and only emerge when that frightfully bright sun has fallen below the horizon.
Turn off the appliances
I’m not sure if you’re planning to bake cakes and keep all the lights on during summer, but electric appliances add huge amounts of unnecessary heat in the house. Make raw salads, do your computer work outside the house and wait till sundown to do the vacuuming.
Just keep circulating
When night falls—especially if a cool change is coming—open up all the doors and retrieve your box fans from the storage closets. Open the windows and get the air circulating so you can push the hot air outdoors, functioning as a kind of “exhaust” system, which draws cooler air into the house. Then, in the day, seal up the door and windows, draw the blinds and curtains to trap the cool air.
Make a makeshift air conditioner
Air conditioners are a good investment—but they’re also expensive. If you can’t afford one right now, but you’re determined to stay home to watch the Australian Open, there are cheap solutions. Simply fill two water bottles with water and spoonful of salt each and freeze them overnight. The next day, place the bottles in a pan and position your fan so the air blows past the bottles, basking you in a chilly breeze.