24th November 2020

Staying cool in the Australian summer is no mean feat. An air-conditioned home is a great start but you have to walk outside and go about your life at some stage! We look at the latest products, gadgets, tips and tricks to keep the mercury at a manageable level while the heat is on.

1. Insulate your home against the heat

Keeping your home closed up for as long as possible to ward off hot winds and baking sun rays can make a huge difference to your energy bill. Rather than letting hot air to blow through your house all day, closing blinds and keeping doors and windows shut against the heat will save you money on cooling. As soon as the temperature drops outside, or if it looks like there’s no letup, throw open doors and window to make the most of cooler cross breezes into the evening. Dampening lightweight or cotton curtains can facilitate a cooler breeze too.

2. Use your cooling efficiently

Keeping air moving around your house is key to staying cool. Using fans in each room at a low level helps to make the most of natural air flow and push cooler pockets of air over your skin where needed. Position a bowl of ice in front of the fan to create a cooling breeze.

3. Get wet

Regular short, cold showers work wonders to keep body temperatures down during a hot day and last well into the evening when taken just before bedtime. Even if you don’t have a pool, buy fun inflatables to use in your backyard and get the kids to fill simple spray bottles with water and run under the sprinkler to stay cool. When you’re out and about, pocket atomisers of mineral water help keep skin fresh, hydrated and can be lightly applied over makeup and sunscreen when you’re out and about.

4. Water, water, water

Water on the inside is important too! It’s hard enough to stay hydrated all year round, but it can’t be state enough how important it is to keep on top of your water intake during summer. Have a supply of reusable water bottles for every member of the family that they love and are happy to take everywhere with them. The more fun and/or comfortable it is to drink from, the more everyone is encouraged empty and refill it during the day.

5. Hand-held fans

Whether battery operated or old-school bamboo and paper, a personal fan is the unsung hero of summer. Add one to your handbag or your kids’ school bag to keep it cool any time of day.

6. Ice, ice baby

Frozen ice blocks aren’t just for kids! Keep a constant supply of ice cubes turning over in your freezer and make your own healthy ice treats with blended fruit frozen overnight.

7. Cool cloth

Old-fashioned? Yes! Effective? Most definitely! Stock up on face washers and soak a couple at a time with water. Place by your desk, bedside or TV chair morning, noon and night to hold over your head and neck to keep your body temperature down. Pop it in the fridge or freezer for a chilly burst now and then. If you’re on the go or out exercising, get yourself a workout towel to drape around your neck and mop up perspiration, keeping you cool.

8. Cool cooking

Keep meals simple with minimum heat applied or harness the beauty of the BBQ. Make it fun and easy by kitting out your deck or verandah with all the trappings of a simple, functioning kitchen that takes you outside to prepare evening meals during summer.

9. Cooling pillow

Perhaps a favourite all year round for hot sleepers, there are memory foam and gel pillows available on the market with structure and built-in technology that help to keep your head cool at night. This can make for a good night’s slumber through even the hottest summer.

10. Breathable clothing

Sounds simple, but choosing lighter weight and breathable fabrics for your summer wardrobe can make or break your comfort in hot weather. Natural cotton and linen are a great place to start your move away from man-made synthetic materials in your clothing or go one step further with specialty garments designed for hot weather conditions. Like active wear, clothing is designed using fabrics to wick away heat and sweat from your body, keeping you cool, dry and smelling fresh all day.

11. Umbrella

Since it never rains in Australia push a personal umbrellas into service as a local provider of shade. They work wonders on hot days to keep you cool and a beach umbrella is the perfect pop up solution to shade on the beach or at a picnic.

12. Borrowed air conditioning

Time your visit to your local library, cinema or shopping centre to make the most of the airconditioning on offer. Meet up with a friend and stay for a double feature or a long, lingering lunch while the heat is on outside.