Everyone craves a cool and comfortable home when the Australian summer heatwave hits. While many energy-saving tips are geared toward homeowners, renters can also beat the heat without breaking the bank.
Here’s the thing. Fluctuating energy prices over the summer can turn that bill-opening experience into something reasonably stressful. While major home improvement projects are probably off the table for renters, there are still cool ways to take the sting out of your power bills.
Whether you live in the northern part of Australia, where the temperatures are always pretty warm, or your inner-city apartment lacks an air conditioning system, there are plenty of ways to cool down that don’t involve heavy reliance on the AC.
Even better, you don’t need a massive budget to keep yourself – and your home – and a happier, cooler temperature.
Keep those blinds closed during the hottest part of the day
Sunlight can turn your home into an oven during the peak of the day. Keep your blinds and curtains closed around noon and during the hottest afternoon hours, typically around 3:00 PM. By reducing direct sunlight, you’ll create a more pleasant indoor environment.
Dress smart for the heat
Wearing cool, loose-fitting clothing can help you feel comfortable indoors. Opt for shorts, absorbent fabrics, and breathable attire. Comfortable clothing choices can reduce your reliance on air conditioning.
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Embrace the power of fans
Fans are a budget-friendly way to cool down. They use a fraction of the energy air conditioners consume, significantly improving air circulation. Remember, fans are most effective when people are in the room, so don’t leave them running in unoccupied spaces.
Refresh with a cold shower
A quick cold shower can provide instant relief from the heat. Keep it short to save water and energy. The cooler the shower, the less heat and humidity you’ll introduce to your living space.
Stay hydrated with cool water
Drinking cool liquids helps lower your core body temperature. Opt for water, as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated will make the heat more bearable.
Take cooking outdoors
Summer in Australia is synonymous with barbecues. Cooking outdoors keeps your home cooler and adds to the outdoor summer experience.
Put your microwave to good use
Microwaves are efficient kitchen appliances. They direct most of their energy into heating food, reducing the heat generated in your kitchen. Use your microwave more often during the warmer months to keep your apartment cool.
Spend more time away from home (or outdoors)
If your rented space becomes uncomfortably hot, consider enjoying air-conditioned places outside. Explore cool destinations within walking or biking distance. Window shopping in air-conditioned shopping centres or refreshing drinks at a local cafe can make hot summer afternoons more enjoyable.
Unplug unnecessary electronic devices
Many electronic devices emit heat even when in standby mode. Unplug devices you’re not actively using to minimise unnecessary heat production. Additionally, consider turning off desktop computers, televisions, and entertainment systems when not in use.
Swap out your sheets
Invest in seasonal sheet sets for your bed. Light and breathable materials like bamboo, Tencel, or linen can help you stay cool and sleep better.
Optimise your ceiling fans
If your rental has ceiling fans, ensure they spin counterclockwise during summer. This direction creates a cooling breeze that can significantly affect comfort.
Switch to energy-efficient lighting
Traditional light bulbs emit excess heat. Replace them with energy-efficient options like LED bulbs. This not only keeps your apartment cooler but also reduces energy consumption.
Promote cross ventilation
Properly align doors and windows to facilitate cross-ventilation. This natural breeze can substantially affect indoor comfort, particularly in the evening when temperatures cool.
Reduce air conditioner usage
If you have an air conditioner, use it sparingly on the hottest days. Close windows and blinds to maximise its efficiency. Remember to turn off the system when you leave to conserve energy.
Beat the heat by keeping yourself and your apartment cool
As a renter, you can keep your home cool and your energy bills in check with these practical tips. From dressing comfortably to embracing fans and making smart choices in the kitchen, you can beat the heat without major upgrades.
Remember these strategies to ensure a cooler, more comfortable summer in your rented space. Share your cooling hacks for extreme heat in the comments below!
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.