While many of us are happy to adopt a green, back to basics approach with some of the more convenient aspects of modern life, when it comes to staying cool during Summer’s heat waves, many of us shy away from the simple solutions in favour of the comforts of a big, energy guzzling air conditioning unit.
Understandably so. Many regions of Australia experience long, scorching Summers, and overheating bodies do strange things- watch endless re-runs of Home and Away, stare mindlessly at immobile moths on the ceiling, become Bob Katter (that’s the only explanation for him. He is, after all, from Queensland) Weatherworld are here to tell you that you can both keep your wits about you in the heat, and be kind to our increasingly delicate planet.
First, let’s start with the basics. My partner, quite inexplicably, believes in throwing open the doors on days of stifling heat. This is the absolute, number one no no. Not only should you keep all windows and doors shut on hot days, you should ensure there are no leaks or draughts through which hot air can penetrate the home. It’s fine to air out the house early in the morning- pre-9am- but after that time, and as soon as the sun begins to beam, shut it al up again. It’s also important to draw all curtains and blinds to minimise the amount of sunlight that creeps in. UV sheeting is cheap as chips and highly effective at reducing the heat in rooms exposed to constant sunlight. It’s also simple enough to install that your guinea pig could probably manage it.
You needn’t do without the comfort of air conditioning, either. Evaporative cooling is relatively cheap to install, very low-cost to run, and provides safe, gentle, and effective relief from the heat.