Energy Efficient Ways To Stay Cool This Summer
Temperatures aren’t the only thing soaring this summer. Energy prices are also on the up, having increased almost 30% in the past 12 months and showing no signs of plateauing anytime soon. The threat of blackouts in peak periods is also looming, creating the perfect conditions for sweaty days and uncomfortable nights. With all this going on around us, we figured it was the perfect time to deep dive into the world of energy efficient cooling and share our findings, giving you all the knowledge you need to avoid bill shock and sweaty summer spells.
Install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are your summertime saviours, cooling rooms effectively while keeping your power bills low. The average ceiling fan costs around 2 cents per hour to run, whereas a split system air-conditioner costs approximately 40 cents per hour and a ducted system will set you back a whopping $1.94 per hour (more pricing facts and figures can be found here). Adding to their appeal is the fact that ceiling fans are more effective than pedestal fans, thanks to the way they circulate air from above, cooling a much larger area than their portable counterparts.
Know when to let air in and when to keep it out
The debate of whether to throw your windows wide or keep them tightly shut on a hot summer’s day is one that’s been doing the rounds for years. It might come as a surprise then, that the argument can be settled with one clear guiding principle: only open your windows if it’s cooler outside than in. If there’s a lovely sea breeze, for example, you should open as many windows and doors as you can, maximising the air’s cooling capacity with cross ventilation. If you’re in the middle of a heatwave or there’s a hot wind scorching across your suburb, you’re better off keeping everything shut and relying on your home’s insulation and ceiling fans to work their magic. Remember that - in most cases - the temperature inside your home will increase as the day goes on while the temperature outside will decrease from late afternoon, making late-in-the-day window opening a good idea. If you are battling through a heatwave and have your windows shut, remember to pull your curtains or blinds closed as well to keep out as much of the sun’s heat as possible.
Dress yourself - and your bed - in natural fibres
The human body is a clever little thing, capable of an astounding number of feats, including the ability to regulate its own temperature. If your body gets too warm, your sweat glands kick into gear, losing heat through the process of evaporation. If you’re wearing or sleeping in synthetic fibres, this process is hindered and you end up feeling damp, hot and quite possibly cranky. Avoid this fate by buying summer-friendly fabrics like cotton and linen, which are known for their ability to breathe and keep you cool. Try our Contento 100% Cotton Sheet Sets and feel the difference for yourself.
Appliances and electronic devices radiate heat when plugged in, even when they’re not in use. Get in the habit of unplugging the toaster, turning off the laptop and powering down the TV whenever you’re not using them to keep your home cool and your electricity bill low. Keep the theme going by relying on your clothesline to do the drying over summer, taking the cooking out of the kitchen with a mid-week BBQ or delicious cold salad, and switching of lamps and lights whenever you leave a room.
Focus on your body temperature
There are a number of effective ways to keep yourself cool from the inside out; many of which won’t cost a dime. A cold shower, a cold compress and an icy glass of water will all help your body stay cool and comfortable. While a cold cocktail or iced coffee might also seem like a good idea, their diuretic qualities will actually reduce your ability to sweat, potentially leading to further discomfort. As a final tip, stay away from calorie-rich foods on very hot days, as the harder your body has to work to digest a meal, the more your body temperature will increase. On that note, it might be a good idea to lock in Christmas dinner at Auntie Elsie’s breezy beachside pad.
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