Want your gifts delivered in time for Christmas? Our deadline to guarantee delivery by 25th December is 12pm Saturday 15th December

Stay cool at home in summer – 12 easy and sustainable tips

January 31, 2018

Stay cool in summer

Need some relief from this warm weather? Hot, sleepless nights and lethargic days can take their toll. So how can you cool down at home - sustainably? Here are our staff favourite easy and sustainable tips:

  1. Close the curtains: Block the sun’s powerful heat by closing the curtains and blinds during the day. Prioritise windows that get direct sunlight, especially if you need to keep other windows clear for ventilation. Open curtains and blinds again in the evening to let the cool air in.
  2. Turn it all off! Switch off your lights and electrical appliances. Even those on standby generate heat and contribute to a hot home
  3. Wet your head: Wet hair, a wet hat or damp towel can bring lasting relief in hot weather.
  4. Cross-ventilate: Natural ventilation is the most eco-friendly option. Best practise (if you can) is to open windows on opposite sides of the house to create cooling cross ventilation. Don’t forget to use safety catches to protect against the wind and falls.
  5. Turn that fan around: Face your fan towards an open window to blow the hot air outside. Even better, open an opposite window to draw in a cool airflow.
  6. Cool down the fan: Fans don’t actually cool air, they just circulate it. Place a dish of iced water beneath the fan, or hang a damp cloth over the top of it. These hacks chill and moisten the air a little, making it feel more refreshing.
  7. DIY cool pack: Freeze your hot water bottle (or wheat/rice sack) for a few hours and use it as a cool pack during summer. Remember that ice expands so don't fill it up totally, leave about 1/4 empty.
  8. Block the heat with ceiling insulation: Insulation forms a barrier that slows down the heat in your roof moving into your house. Poor quality or missing ceiling insulation = warmer house in summer.
  9. Cheers! Stay cool and hydrated with a cold drink. Our family-friendly-favourite is a mix of cold water, lemon juice and sugar (and/or mint, cucumber).
  10. Take a cold dip or shower: Cold water refreshes and reduces your body temperature so you feel cooler. Remember to keep it short (under 5 mins) because of our water shortage issues. Or hit the beach before you get home! 
  11. Take a hot dip or shower: Warming up can trick your body into cooling down. Some people swear by hot baths or hot drinks during summer months.
  12. Sleep under the stars: Swap your stuffy bedroom for your deck or garden. It’s often cooler outside and you can enjoy Welly’s natural air conditioning wind. 

Tried all of these no and low-energy tips? If your home is still too hot then you could use the cooling function of your heat pump or ducted heat pump system. The energy efficiency of a heat pump in cooling mode is over a 3:1kW ratio – much more sustainable than other similar options such as commercial air conditioning units. Use sparingly to keep energy use to a minimum, and remember to keep doors and windows closed when in use.

Again, we always recommend natural ventilation over and above mechanical, but if you are seeking automatic ventilation then we recommend positive pressure ventilation systems. Many models come with special summer settings, such as being able to draw cool air from the shady southern side of a home, and circulating that through the house. These systems are excellent for homes with serious moisture issues or trouble ventilating e.g. in winter.


Good luck!





Also in Ask an expert

How much can I save by switching to LED downlights in my home?
How much can I save by switching to LED downlights in my home?

October 10, 2018

Lighting costs the average Kiwi household $220 per year – roughly 12 percent of its electricity bill. As LEDs use up to 85% less energy, installing LED downlights can mean a substantial saving for families around NZ. Find out more here.

Continue Reading

How can you Bee Aware?
How can you Bee Aware?

October 01, 2018

Did you know that one mouthful in three is directly thanks to bee pollination? Bee Aware Month (every September) is a chance for us to learn about the incredible value bees bring to our lives and find out how we can help them!

Continue Reading

Home insulation tips: where to get advice you can trust
Home insulation tips: where to get advice you can trust

August 24, 2018

Where can people get independent and trustworthy advice about insulation? In this article, we share our top tips on how to make sure you have the best advice possible before insulating your home.

Continue Reading

Sign up for our newsletter

Get Sustainability Trust's news, events and specials straight to your inbox every month