Homes heat up for a number of reasons and these reasons may vary according to the direction your home faces. Designating summer and winter rooms, or zoning off areas, are some of the smart things you can do to keep your home cooler for longer and make more efficient use of air-conditioning.
Zone off your main living space
Try to zone/close off the main living space where you spend most of your time. That way, you only have to cool one room.
Seal off external doors
Try putting a door snake along the bottom of external doors to stop hot air getting in. Remember it can be a trip hazard, so try getting a double-sided door snake that moves with the door. The door might already have a door seal, so take a look first.
Seal off internal doors
Close internal doors to other rooms you are not using. This reduces the air flow and makes it easier to cool the rooms you are using. You can also use a door snake to seal internal doors. If you have an open plan house close as many doors as you can.
Seal other draughts
Check windows to see if they close well or need sealing. If there are obvious draughts like a chimney or vents in the walls it would be good to try and reduce the air flow. It is best to get a professional to do this.
Try using a towel to block a window that lets a draught in.
Ideally, hire a professional who specialises in 'energy efficiency retrofits' who can do a thorough assessment of your home and seal all draughts with professional and high quality products.
Avoid running the oven and other appliances that produce heat
Use a fan
Fans are cheaper to run than air conditioners and if it isn’t too hot a fan may be all you need.
Fans cool you rather than the room, so ensure you sit/lie down where the air will flow over you. Running a fan in your bedroom overnight can help keep you cool while you sleep on a hot night.
Use the air conditioner
When it gets hot turn on your air conditioner. Run the air conditioner fan on high and keep the filter clean. If possible, sleep in the room where your air conditioner is when it is very hot.
Draw external blinds
If you have external blinds pull them down early in the morning before the sun hits your windows. This will help reduce the amount of heat that enters your home and keep it cooler. Put the blinds up when the sun goes down to cool your home with the night breeze.
Keep doors and windows closed
Keep external doors and windows closed to reduce the hot air that is entering your house. Keep internal doors closed so the space you are trying to cool is smaller. Remember to open doors and windows at night to let the cooler night breeze through.
Close the curtains
Windows that get direct sunlight heat up a room. Generally, windows are a source of heat gain on hot days. Closing the curtains helps to reduce how much heat enters your house. When it cools down at night open the curtains and windows to let the night breeze cool your house.
Have a plan
Think in advance about how you are going to cope in the heat, how you will keep your home cool and what home improvements you may need to make. Print a copy of the Heatwave Action Plan and stick it to your fridge as reminder of actions you can take to beat the heat.