While long summer days generously peppered with festive holidays and long weekends are nothing to complain about, the all-consuming heat can leave us desperately seeking ways to cool off. From home décor through to clothing, shady tricks, and food choices, we’ve pulled together our top twelve tips to help you beat the heat this summer.
Between the benefits of cleaner air and chic home styling, luscious indoor plants are having a real moment. But did you know they can also help cool your home? House plants absorb warm air and send fresh oxygen and moisture back into the atmosphere – just like a natural air conditioner! Don’t forget, just like us they’ll need additional watering over the summer months. Move over Monstera deliciosa, plant power isn’t just confined to your indoor favourites. Outdoor planting will throw cooling shade on your external walls, reducing the air temperature indoors. Choose deciduous trees which lose their leaves in winter – that way you’ll get that precious sun back over the cooler months.
Aside from the natural shade provided by trees, cast a canopy of cool over your home with awnings, shade sails or pergolas. These not only cut down on the heat absorbed by your home but offer the perfect place to relax, entertain or dine outdoors with protection from the sweltering sunshine. With shade sails and pergolas, you also create a fabulous outdoor entertaining space which is yours to enjoy all year round, and adds appeal and value to your home; if it ever comes time sell.
While fans themselves don’t chill the air, circulating it creates a ‘wind chill’ effect giving you the illusion of cooling. In the evening, place a large fan near an open window to move fresh, cool air into your home – just watch out for mozzies! If you’re serious about beating the heat indoors and budget allows, installing a split system air conditioning unit is the way to go. Not only does it provide instant relief, but also adds value to your home if you decide to sell in the future. Best of all, air conditioning units can be used in winter to warm your home too – just dial up the temperature and relax. Shop cooling and air treatment products at Harvey Norman or Dyson.
While it may feel slightly vampire-like, as soon as the sun rises, check windows are firmly closed and blinds and curtains are drawn. You want to trap that cool night air in for the day and keep the heat from creeping in.
Appliances are big on the heating front – ovens, dishwashers and even washing machines and dryers generate a lot of heat. On scorching hot days, avoid using appliances as much as possible. While we’re not talking takeaways or eating out for every meal, using the microwave, firing up the barbecue or just eating cold meals will help you keep you cool.
Choosing natural fabrics is the best option when dressing for hot weather. Natural fibres are hollow and allow excess heat to escape while absorbing moisture (sweat). Synthetic fibres, on the other hand, tend to be tightly woven and lock in moisture and heat. If you’re out and about, choose lighter coloured clothing which will absorb less of the sun’s rays, and if you’re at the beach or home, simply opt for wearing less! Looser, flowy styles of clothing allow for maximum airflow, so leave the figure-hugging outfits for the cooler months.
With your body consisting of up to 75% water, staying hydrated is second in importance only to getting enough oxygen. As the temperature soars, the sweat pours, and we need continual replenishment of H2O with our 2.6 million sweat glands working overtime. But just how much water should you be consuming? Experts recommend 6-8 glasses a day, but remember, plenty of fruits and veggies like watermelon, lettuce and celery have a high-water content and add to your daily intake.
As the mercury rises, the icy treats call. There’s nothing quite like an indulgent ice cream melting as fast as you can eat it to cool you down. If you’re not up for a creamy sugar fix, go for a fruit-based ice block or make your own healthy version. Simply whizz up a banana, some mango or berries with Greek yoghurt, pop in a reusable ice block mould and wait patiently to devour.
If you’re not blessed with a backyard pool like over 13% of the Australian population, chances are a friend, neighbour or relative will have one that you can use over the summer months. From a quick refreshing dip to an afternoon of lounging in the shallows, nothing beats a pool to cool off.
If you’re thinking it might be time to take the plunge and add a pool to your backyard, check out our recent blog here for ideas to suit every space and budget.
For a dose of fun and function, pop on the sprinkler and release your inner child as you dash through the spray. Your adult self will appreciate the garden getting a good water at the same time. Bunnings have a huge range of hose end sprinklers suitable for watering you and your garden. Just remember to follow water guidelines in your area and keep the sprinkler action brief.
Remember that pets struggle with the heat too, so while you’re keeping cool, let them do the same. Invest in a clamshell from Bunnings so your four-legged friend can take refreshing dips throughout the day. Make sure they have access to cool, clean water to drink, and plenty of shade to enjoy. While you’ll still want to walk your dog, avoid the hottest parts of the day. Not only can the hot concrete scorch their paws, but they can easily overheat. Pick early morning or evening when the air temperature and concrete is cooler. Check out more tips from the RSPCA here to keep your pets safe this summer.
Whether you’re looking for something beach-side, pool ready, or with a bigger backyard for that sprinkler, call your local First National Real Estate agent for a no-obligation chat or visit www.firstnational.com.au.
All information is general in nature and should not be interpreted as professional advice. If you need professional advice to keep you or your pets cool this summer, please visit your local general practitioner or veterinary clinic. If installing drapes, blinds, air-conditioners, or pools, remember to do your research to find the right product for you and your home.