Green Guide: 3 Natural Ways to Keep Your Home Cool without Air Con during the Australian Summer
If you're looking for ways to live a more environmentally friendly life, one of the things you can do to have a greener household is not use air conditioning. While many developed countries are moving towards reductions in refrigerants that are harmful to the environment, a lot of air con units still contain them. Even without harmful refrigerants, air conditioning uses power, thus impacting on the environment. Aside from environmental concern, air con can be costly. Summers in Australia are already expensive enough with Christmas to pay for without hiking up your bills by running air conditioning all day and night.
So, what can you do to keep your home cool in the summer without relying on air con? Read on to find 3 natural ways to chill out indoors.
Shut out the Heat
As much as 30% of your home's heat comes from the sun coming through windows. If you're out at work during the day, then you have no need for daylight. Keep your home from heating up by shutting out the sun. If your house has external security shutters, then keeping them closed during the day will help prevent your home from heating up, making it easier to keep cool when you return from work. Internal blinds or curtains at your windows will do the same.
Use Your Windows and Doors
It may seem obvious, but using your open windows and doors is one of the easiest ways to keep cool. As the sun goes down, harness any cool breeze by opening windows and doors. Open the lower windows on the coolest side of your house and the higher windows on the opposite side and create a cool breeze using convection. Of course, open windows and doors can result in a house full of unwanted guests. Consider adding security screen doors and windows to keep out the bugs and burglars while you chill. Sleep with your windows open for a cooler, more restful sleep and use security screens to ensure nothing creepy is sharing your bed.
Use Water to Keep Cool
Ancient Egyptians evaporated water to help them keep cool during the hot summer days, and you can do the same. Place water filled pots in hallways and near open doors to allow hot air coming into your home to be cooled as it passes over the pots. The evaporation of the water will also help lower the temperature indoors. You can also dry clothes outside near to your open doors instead of at the end of the garden—your home benefits from the cooler air that is passing through the damp clothes. If you don't want to dry coloured clothes outside because of the bleaching effect of the sun, consider drying them inside next to a blowing fan and benefit from the cooling effect of the evaporating water.