Summer is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to prepare your home for the upcoming heatwave. It’s hot enough in Australia as is, but during the summer, the scorching heat can become truly unbearable. To combat this, you have to turn your home into a cool and comfortable oasis where you can relax and get away from it all. A couple of changes to the décor will leave your home feeling cool in both senses of the word.
Space it out
When you get down to it, the temperature isn’t everything. The look and feel of a room can significantly influence how warm you perceive it to be. Even the hot Australian summer can be mitigated by décor. It’s a well-known phenomenon that making some strategic adjustments to a room can change your perception of temperature by at least a few degrees.
A room that looks and feels spacy will always be more comfortable than a cluttered room, especially when it’s hot out. When you rearrange the furniture to give yourself more space to breathe, you’re going to feel like you’re walking into a brand-new room.
However, in this case, it’s not just your perception that is changing. Furniture also presents a physical obstruction to the flow of air, which means that fresh air has to pass through several different obstacles on its way to you. By making some more room, you can be sure that air will circulate freely and give your room a fresh feel.
Choose materials wisely
Duvets are the most important bed accessories in the winter. They help keep us warm and cozy when it gets a little bit too cold outside. Still, we don’t forsake them during the summer, simply because it feels nice to cover yourself with something and it supposedly keeps away the monsters (or so children would have you believe). Plus, it can keep mosquitoes from biting away at most of your body.
When the warmer months roll around, you probably replace your duvets with a thinner alternative to have something light and cool to cover you. You might have noticed that this doesn’t always work out, especially when it gets really warm outside. It’s not that it’s too warm for covers, it could just be the material the duvet is made from.
Synthetic materials don’t do the job as well as natural ones such as cotton do. Even a blend of synthetic and cotton won’t cool you off that well. Consider switching to pure cotton instead, it’s going to make sleeping a lot more comfortable.
One of the best ways to cool down a room is to let air circulate freely. However, the natural flow of air through windows and doorways won’t help you if it gets hot enough. Sometimes, that air needs a small push to get out the door.
This is where ceiling fans come in. They push air in the direction you want and that creates a proper airflow which makes a room feel a lot cooler. The direction they spin in isn’t at all insignificant, either. When they spin clockwise, they push air downwards, pushing away the warm air and making room for cold air. On the other hand, spinning counterclockwise takes away the air surrounding you and your furniture, which can either cool or warm you slightly, depending on the temperature of the ambient air.
The best part about ceiling fans is that they look gorgeous. They can really bring the room together and they give some personality to your ceiling. A ceiling fan will go well with any contemporary or chic design of your choice, and you can even blend it in with an old-timey look if you get the right material.
Keep the lights cool
You can’t have a home without lights, or else how would you get around at night? However, you can have a home without inefficient lights that give off heat. You might not think that the type of lightbulbs you employ in your home is all that important, but their effects can stack up after a while.
Most homes still use incandescent and warm lightbulbs, which are still considered the standard choice in Australian interiors. These lights aren’t just warm in a visual sense, they also give off heat because of their inefficiency. Have you ever noticed that they’re pretty warm to the touch? This means that they’re inevitably warming the surrounding air as well.
LED lights are considered a much “cooler” alternative to incandescent lighting. They spend a lot less energy and they don’t produce all that much heat. Replacing your regular bulbs with LED versions will make your home ever-so-slightly cooler, while also sparing your heating bill.
Cover the windows
The best way to prevent the heat from taking over your home is to stop it before it gets inside. A lot of Australian homes have some type of protective surface on their windows to prevent sunlight from heating the inside. However, homeowners don’t always install them properly for maximum efficiency. Window covers and shutters need to be placed on the outside to prevent the window glass from getting warm and transferring that same heat to the home.
In the harsh Australian sun, you need all the help you can get to stay cool. The materials you use to cover the windows and outdoor spaces need to be somewhat reflective. Australians have gotten quite clever at keeping out the sun and heat during the summer. It’s not an uncommon sight to see aluminium retractable awnings in Sydney on windows in most backyards.
The windows themselves can work against the heat as well. Double pane glass windows are a lot more effective at insulating your home. They have a buffer zone of air between the two panes which doesn’t transfer heat as well as the glass could. This traps the heat inside or outside, depending on what season it is. It’s a surefire way to make your home more comfortable all year round.
Introduce some foliage into the fray
If you want to keep your home cool while also going green, your best bet would be to introduce some actual greenery into the living space. Plants provide a variety of benefits that most people aren’t even aware of. Starting with the looks – plants can really make your house feel like a home. They give you attractive colours and shapes that go with the natural flow of any kind of room, no matter what design choices you’ve made.
The summer benefits don’t stop with aesthetics, either. You can count on plants to reduce the ambient temperature of a room in a couple of ways. They increase the humidity of a room, which makes cooling it a lot easier and more cost-effective. It’s not a strong effect, but having more plants means you get a lot more bang for your buck. On the other hand, they also absorb warm air for their chemical processes, which means they directly cool the room on their own.
If you want some powerful results, you can surround your windows with some hanging potted plants. This will drastically reduce the temperature around your home’s most vulnerable spots and prevent heat from seeping inside of it.
Keeping your home cool in the Australian summer is a tough challenge. However, your room design and décor can come to your rescue. You would be surprised at how effective some of these changes can be. Consider applying them and turning your home into a refreshing retreat from the summer heat.