Melbourne is notorious for its blistering summers, where hot days can blur into one another. If you’re having trouble staying cool, here are some simple tips to keep you level-headed at home and when you’re out and about.
Read on for 35 easy tricks to help you keep cool and survive this summer!
The intense rays from the sun make us more dehydrated than normal. Extreme dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Make sure you have lots of water and plenty of electrolytes to keep your body replenished.
By using a double-walled insulated bottle of water, you can not only stay hydrated but keep cooler. Simply fill your bottle with cold water and it will stay cool for hours. Some insulated drink bottles promise 25 hours of cool water. Drinking water that’s cold will lower your core body temperature while maintaining hydration.
One final point on beverages. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks are both diuretics, meaning they help your body get rid of salt and water, which can leave you dehydrated on a hot day. This doesn’t just apply to hot tea and coffee, but also to a nice cold beer, soft drink, or energy drink. So, be sure not to overindulge in caffeinated and alcoholic beverages on a hot summer day. Have a glass of water instead!
Is your room feeling stuffy? Everything from your TV to your computer emits heat when in use and even on standby. Whenever you don’t need a gadget, turn it off at the appliance and the wall switch to eliminate the extra heat.
Light bulbs don’t just give off light – they also emit plenty of heat! If you don’t need lights for your current activity, consider switching them off to reduce indoor temperatures.
Energy-efficient LEDs are a great option for your home, and if you’re already running the air conditioning, you’re going to want to save energy.
If you need to have lights on at home, LEDs will use less electricity and give off less heat than iridescent bulbs, fluorescent globes, and other older options.
Baking a big batch of muffins. Boiling water for a bowl of pasta. Cooking a full English roast.
All of these options sound mouth-watering, but they also create extra heat in summer. Consider firing up the BBQ or cooking less heat-intensive meals this summer. Swapping hot veggies for cold salads is an easy way to use your oven and stove top less.
Just because you don’t have an air conditioner, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to keep your space cool. A closed-off home can have an oven-like effect as the sun’s heat gets trapped in your space. If you don’t have an AC, open up all your windows and doors to properly circulate the air in your home… And maybe consider installing one before next summer!
Cotton is more than just a cosy material. Cotton is also renowned for excellent ventilation and airflow. Wear loose, lightweight cotton clothes and swap your polyester sheets for cotton linen to stay cool and comfortable. Other natural materials may also be suitable for your clothes and bed sheets.
Some of us love cuddling up, especially when we’re in bed. But in the height of summer, it might be best to refrain from this affectionate activity. For a full eight hours, sleep separately and prevent yourself from absorbing extra body heat on those hot summer nights!
We don’t mean to be crude and we’re certainly not prudes, but in summer, you should never sleep nude!
It might be surprising, but wearing clothes while you sleep actually allows your sweat to evaporate more effectively, which cools you down. Once again, cotton sleepwear is the way to go for a good sleep on a hot night.
While we’re still in the bedroom, it’s worth mentioning that lighter, less fluffy pillows will allow heat to escape around your head, helping to keep you cooler. You might love sinking into an all-encompassing pillow, but in summer, consider swapping it out.
Also, remember to turn a sweaty pillow to the cool side – it will give you instant relief and it will also feel much less nasty!
Speaking of fluffy, your cuddly, four-legged friends are better off sleeping in their own beds during summer. Telling your partner you can’t cuddle might have been easy, but kicking out your dog, cat, or bunny rabbit might be a bit harder!
Still, it will be better for both of you when you’re not absorbing each other’s body heat!
And on that note, keep an eye on signs of heat stroke in your pets, including excessive panting and drooling, wide eyes, skin that is hot to the touch, twitching, and vomiting. Contact your local vet if necessary.
Working out before bed can help you sleep better at most times of the year, but you should avoid anything that makes you hot or bothered before bed. So, consider moving your exercise routine to earlier in the day.
Everyone loves a hearty meal, but heavier dinners take longer to break down, and your core temperature will increase while your body is metabolising.
You’re already dealing with heat sweats, so try and avoid those meat sweats! Switch to legumes, fruit, and veggies to shed that extra metabolic heat. And while you’re at it, treat yourself to ice cream for dessert!
The sun is unbearable outside, and you don’t want to bring it inside. If you’re indoors for the day, keep the blistering light out with blackout shades. Shielding your room from the sun helps insulate the cool air within your room while keeping out the heat.
Even if you don’t have blackout shades, it will be beneficial to close any curtains, blinds, shutters, or window coverings that you have, especially while the AC is running.
In the long term, it pays to install insulation in your ceiling, walls, and under the floor. Products like thermal batts and foil sheets will keep out the heat and help your air conditioner work better. You can almost halve your energy use with effective insulation, and it helps you to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, so this investment is sure to pay for itself!
Also consider double-glazed windows or retrofit double-glazing to add extra insulation to your windows.
Even if you can’t afford full-blown insulation, it will be beneficial to go around the house and seal gaps. Look for gaps around doors and windows and between the bottom of your wall and floors. Sealing these gaps will keep warm air out and prevent cool air from escaping when you run your air conditioner.
Use draught excluders, caulking, sealing tapes, and similar products.
Enjoying the great outdoors is all part of the Melbourne summer experience. However, it’s essential to take the weather into consideration before doing any outdoor activities.
If you’re exercising, remember that you might not be able to go as far or as hard in hotter temperatures. Try to stretch in a shaded area before you begin and drink plenty of water.
This also applies to any other outdoor activities – from lazing away at the beach to playing backyard cricket to enjoying a picnic. Listen to your body, drink plenty of water, and call it a day if you’re beginning to feel overheated.
Whether you’re driving to the shopping centre, the beach, the park, or the ice creamery, remember that the best parking spot might not be the closest one but the shadiest one. A car that’s sitting in full sun can quickly heat up and will be incredibly unpleasant when you get back into it.
In lieu of a covered spot or a shady tree, be sure to put a sunshade on your windscreen to shave a few degrees off the interior of your car and give yourself a respite from heat.
Head to the local pool, the nearest beach, or any other safe body of water and go for a swim. A quick dip in the water is sure to cool you down. Just remember that swimming can still be exercise, so don’t overexert yourself. And just because you’re in the water, it doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated – so keep up your fluids.
Cold showers… You either love them or you hate them! But in summertime, they might just be a lifesaver. Cold showers or even cool showers are a great way to lower your body temperature, especially right before bed.
Cold feet might be a nightmare the night before your wedding, but they can be a dream in the summer heat. If you can’t quite stomach a cold shower, try dipping your feet in a cold bucket of water or in the bathtub. Cooling down your feet can be a great way to make your whole body feel cool.
If you’ve really got your finger on the pulse of summer cooling tricks, you’ll know this next one. Applying cold packs, wet cloths, or other cold products to your wrists, neck, and temples can help to cool down your whole body. These are the points where you can commonly feel your pulse, and it’s a surprisingly effective cooling technique.
Hot air rises, so if you have a multi-storey house, spend as much time as you can downstairs. Sitting on low chairs and couches or lowering your bed frame can also have an effect.
Long hair can be like a built-in scarf, which is great in winter but not so good in the warmer months. If shaving your head sounds a bit extreme, just pull out a scrunchie or a hair tie and keep your hair tied back and up.
We’ve already mentioned cotton, but merino wool is another great option for summer clothing. Choose lighter fabrics but darker colours because darker shades will absorb the heat while lighter colours will bounce it back at you.
For outdoor activities, remember your sunglasses and your hat. If you’re staying indoors or the activity doesn’t call for skin-tight clothing, wear loose clothes for greater comfort and air circulation.
Keeping cool in the office can be difficult, especially if you’re not allowed to touch the thermostat. One thing you can do is choose an office chair with an open or mesh backing. Compared to a solid chair back, a mesh backing will allow for greater breathability and comfort.
Not all summer days out involve sweltering in the sun. Movie theatres are dark, and the air conditioner is almost always running. Throw in one of those absurdly oversized soft drinks and you’ve got yourself the perfect activity for a summer day.
You read that right… we said the HOT water bottle. We’re recommending this one because you can actually fill and freeze most hot water bottles. You already know they have excellent thermal insulation qualities, so your not-so-hot water bottle will stay cool for plenty of time, making it the perfect hot weather hack. It can even be better than an ice pack!
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be nasty, and even deadly in extreme heat. If you or a loved one is feeling a bit off, don’t just put it down to a little bit too much sun.
Headaches, heat cramps, nausea, a rapid or weak pulse, low blood pressure after standing up, excess sweating, fainting, and dizziness can all be signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
If you notice the signs, get yourself or your loved one to a cool place. To beat the heat wave and heat exhaustion, elevate the legs, drink plenty of water, and also use cold water to physically cool down the body.
Fans are not a replacement for air conditioning systems, but they can be a great complement to your AC if used properly.
First and foremost, make sure your fan is set to summer mode. Many fans can also be reversed to suck up cold air in winter and keep it at the top of the room. But in summer, you want your fan to push air around.
Once your fan is in the right mode, consider using it alongside your split system or air conditioner. It can circulate the cool air of your AC around the room faster than it would otherwise spread. If you have multiple fans, you can put them at various positions in the room to create a cross breeze and promote even better air circulation.
Even if you don’t have an air conditioner, you can try putting a tray of ice in front of the fan, which will cause the air the fan distributes to be cooler than usual. Melted ice will turn into cool water which will transform your fan into a mister or spray bottle!
Remember that fans on their own are no replacement for a cooler. They actually create false comfort because while the movement of air might make you feel colder, the air itself (and your body temperature) won’t be any colder.
But when used in combination with the above techniques, your fan can definitely be useful.
Depending on how you’re cooling your home, it’s important to either keep your doors closed or throw them open.
For rooms that aren’t being used, closing the door can trap heat in that room and prevent it from spreading to the rest of the house. If you’re running your split system, be sure to close the doors to the room it’s located in for effective space cooling.
If you’ve got an evaporative cooler, you’ll need to open some windows or external doors to allow air to constantly circulate. If you don’t do this, your evaporative cooler could send your humidity through the roof.
If you’ve got a refrigerated system, external doors and windows stay closed. But if it’s a central cooling system and you want to cool multiple rooms at once, make sure all the relevant internal doors are open for even and effective cooling.
When all else fails and you need a cool retreat from the heat, your air conditioner is the perfect way to escape the sun. There are many ways to keep your air-con running without raking up your electricity bills.
Two easy steps you can take are setting the correct temperature (don’t set it too low) and cleaning and maintaining your system regularly (professional maintenance every 2-3 years).
Are you ready for summer? With Australian Climate Systems, you can install the perfect cooler for your Melbourne home.
Australian Climate Systems offers heating and cooling repairs, services, and installations in Melbourne, and we work with all the leading brands.
So, if you’re after evaporative cooling repairs, Rinnai air conditioning services, or LG air conditioning repair, we have you covered. And that’s without mentioning Brivis, Bonaire, Daikin, and all our other favourite brands!
Call us now to find out more about how we can help you beat the heat with one of our reliable air conditioners.