These cool tips will stop your home becoming an oven when summer’s heat kicks in

Staying cool in the Australian summer without paying more in bills is a skill many of us need to work on.

Staying cool in the Australian summer without paying more in bills is a skill many of us need to work on. Photo: Getty

Summer is around the corner, and the weather is finally starting to heat up – which means your household bills might be doing the same soon as you fight to stay cool.

But before you reach for the air conditioner control, have a think about what you could be doing to save money while trying to avoid melting into a puddle of sweat.

“We’ve seen both energy bills and temperatures rise across Australia this year, so the prospect of keeping your home cool and comfortable this summer can seem a bit daunting,” Choice cooling expert Chris Barnes said.

“Luckily, there are a of tips and tricks you can use to keep costs and the temperature down.”

Choose your aircon temperature wisely

Air conditioning can quickly become one of your biggest household bills during the warmer months, but if you can’t resist switching it on, there are a couple of tricks to keeping the cost as low as possible.

Barnes said each degree cooler adds about 10 per cent to your air conditioner running costs, so you should have a think before setting your desired temperature.

“To get better efficiency from your air conditioner, try and keep the temperature difference to around 8°C. So, on a 32°C day, set your air conditioner to around 24°C,” he said.

“Keeping your air conditioner clean will also ensure it’s more effective at cooling your home.

“By cleaning the filter regularly and checking that everything is working well, you can ensure your air conditioning lasts all through summer.”

Adjust your ceiling fan

If you want to save on energy and bills, the humble ceiling fan might be the best replacement for an air conditioner.

Barnes said Choice found keeping your fan on 24/7 over the summer would only cost a “measly $30”.

And how it 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.

Invest in a thermometer 

Barnes said using the environment to your advantage is a cheap and energy efficient way to keep your home cool, and thermometers can be of great assistance.

“We recommend using an indoor-outdoor thermometer to monitor the temperature difference,” he said.

“If it’s cooler outside than inside, open up all your doors and windows, and if it’s hotter outside, close everything.

Run your dishwasher at night 

It might be the last thing on your mind, but your dishwasher can generate a lot of heat.

Barnes said by putting it on before you go to bed, you can avoid dealing with a warmer kitchen during the day.

Go old-school

Sometimes the cheapest methods to stay cool are the 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  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 might help, but be careful not to waste too much water.

And 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.

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