Keeping cool in summer can be a struggle. Long, sweltering days and longer, stuffier nights tossing and turning can be a nightmare without an air conditioner. If you do have one running 24/7, your power bill can go through the roof. Thankfully, there’s a few simple things you can do around the house to keep the heat out and power bill low.
Keep your windows closed and covered during the day, especially north facing windows. The glass will magnify the heat and turn your home into a greenhouse. Lower any awnings on the outside of the property and keep blinds closed on the inside to keep the heat out. This is particularly important for north facing windows that will face direct sunlight throughout the day.
Leaving windows open can increase the heat in the property by 30%, so keeping them covered will ensure the inside of the house is shielded from the heat.
Wet the bed
Not in the way you think. The ‘Egyptian method’ is a tried and true way of keeping the heat at bay, dating back to ancient Egypt. Apparently.
Wet your bed sheets in cool water then wring them out on the spin cycle in the washing machine. The sheet needs to be damp, not dripping wet. Hop into bed with a dry towel underneath you and use the damp sheet as a blanket and you’ll be nice and cool.
Bedrooms, continued: Hanging a damp sheet in the window will cool the air coming through and help keep the room cool. You can also put your bed sheets in the freezer before jumping into bed. The sheets won’t stay cool all night, but it might help you get to sleep a bit easier.
For a really good cool down, freeze a water bottle full of water and keep it as an ice pack in bed.
The humble fan can be put to good use to keep your house cool, in more ways than just blowing hot air around.
The easiest way to cool down with a fan is to put a big bowl of ice in front of it and bask in the cool air. Roasting pans work best for this. You can also sit a box fan in your window and face it outward. The fan will help to blow out the hot air before it blows inside.
Your ceiling fan can also do its fair share.
Ceiling fans usually have a setting to spin either clockwise, or counter clockwise. The reason? Depending on which way the fan is blowing will help regulate the temperature in the room. You can find the setting may be on the dial or on the fan itself. Flick it to counter clockwise and you should notice the difference as the ceiling fan pulls air up and out of the room, rather than moving it around.
You can also use your bathroom exhaust fan. Just as an exhaust fan sucks steam from the shower or the stove top, they can also suck hot air out of the house. When it’s 40 degrees outside, every little bit helps.
Once the sun starts to go down and the temperature starts to drop, open up the windows to let the heat out. For the best way to cool the house down, create a cross breeze by strategically opening windows and doors.
Air flow needs an inlet and an outlet to be the most effective. Forcing the air flow route through as much of the house as possible which will do a far better job of pushing the heat out. This can be done by creating a small opening in a cooler, shaded area of the house which will help accelerate air intake, and leave a larger opening for the air to exit the house.
Cool your core
The best way to stay cool is to keep your body cool. Drinking cool water will definitely help, but cooling your core temperature is also a great way to beat the heat.
To do this, find the pulse points on your body. Pulse points are the places on your body where your blood vessels are closest to your skin – so: wrists, neck, inside of elbows and knees, underarms, and feet. Apply an ice pack to these places will cool the blood, which will circulated through your body and lower your body temperature.
So, the next time you think about firing up the air con, or lament that you don’t have one, don’t fret. Use these simple tips and they’ll go a long way to keeping you cool!