Three tips to keep your house cool for cheaper this summer

Staying cool doesn't always have to be too expensive.

Staying cool doesn't always have to be too expensive. Photo: Getty

Summer is just around the corner, and rising energy prices mean it could get more expensive to keep cool during any upcoming heatwaves.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer than median for much of north-west Australia and Tasmania from November to January.

While other parts of Australia are on-track to see below-median maximum temperatures in the next few months, soaring energy prices, lax rental standards, and other cost of living pressures mean many households may be looking to give the air conditioner a break.

High energy prices even drove small energy retailers to close up shop in May after national wholesale prices in the first quarter of 2022 rose by 141 per cent year-on-year.

Over-reliance on air conditioning is also contributing significantly to global warming thanks to increased demand for fossil fuel energy, which means summers are going to get hotter if we keep this habit up.

With inflation hitting from all directions, and no sign of relief any time soon, read on to find out how you can stay cool cheaper this summer.

Cover your windows

While also a great way to keep your home warm in the winter, keeping your blinds or curtains closed during the summer can keep some of the worst of the sun’s heat out.

Victoria Arrington, spokesman for Energy Helpline, told This is Money that the more ‘opaque’  the curtains or blinds are, the better the cooling result will be.

For the best results, she advised keeping your windows open while the curtains or blinds are closed to let the air circulate and catch what breezes you can, while keeping the sun’s harsh glare out of your home.

Adjust your ceiling fan

While a ceiling fan may seem like a stock-standard alternative to air conditioners that you don’t even have to think about before using, how the fan is set up can make all the difference.

During the summer, your ceiling fan should turn in a counterclockwise direction, which will push air down to provide a better cooling effect.

If the fan is running in a clockwise direction, it will create a gentle updraft, recirculating heat down, which comes in handy during cooler months.

Methods to switch between summer and winter modes vary between fan models, but many will have a switch on the side of the motor.

Keeping doors to rooms or areas of the house you’re not using closed will also help your fan keep the areas you are hanging around in cooler.

Go old-school

While we might be used to relying on technology for everything, sometimes the cheapest methods to stay cool are the simplest and traditional ones.

What you wear can have a big affect on how much you feel the heat; loose clothing in light, breathable fabrics like cotton are the best way to go to minimise sweat.

Sipping cold drinks and applying a damp cloth to your neck and other pressure points on your body are also great ways to cool down.

If the heat is really getting to you, having the occasional cold shower to quickly cool your body down might help, but be careful not to waste too much water.

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