There's a number of ways ýou can keep your home cool during the hotter months. But preventing your house from getting too hot should be your first priority. Make sure it's properly insulated, draught-proof, shaded and ventilated. If you're renovating your home, or building a new house, consider designing it as energy-efficiently as possible.
What's actually feasible to cool your existing home depends on several factors:
- Are you living in a unit or renting your home? If so, you may not be able to make structural changes or install certain appliances; in this case a portable air conditioner may be what you are looking for.
- Even if you're living in your own house, your choice may be limited — by the block's orientation or size for example.
- How much are you willing to spend on a cool home? While some preventive measures, such as installing insulation, can lower your energy bill and pay for themselves in the long run, you may not be able to afford the upfront cost. Cooling appliances, on the other hand, always cost extra money: you need to buy them, in some cases have them installed, and pay running costs. So is your comfort worth an air conditioner or will a fan do?
- What climate are you living in? An evaporative air cooler won't work well in humid conditions for example. A refrigerative air conditioner will, but you won't need a reverse-cycle model if your winters aren't cold enough for heating.
What do you need?
Our decision guide helps you to find out what's most appropriate for your situation.
You can also find out more about keeping your home at a comfortable temperature using energy-efficient strategies in the CHOICE book, Warm House, Cool House.