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What are the best ways to keep your home cool this summer?

CHOICE experts share tips on how to stay cool while keeping energy costs low.

Last updated: 18 October 2023

With heat waves sweeping the country and temperatures set to keep rising, keeping your home cool can be difficult, especially during a cost of living crisis. 

"We've seen both energy bills and temperatures rise across Australia this year, so the prospect of keeping your home cool and comfortable this summer can seem a bit daunting. Luckily, there are a number of tips and tricks you can use to keep costs and the temperature down," says CHOICE cooling expert, Chris Barnes. 

CHOICE's top tips to keep your home cool this summer:

1. If you have an air conditioner, turn it up and keep it clean 

"It might seem the best way to beat the heat is to turn your air con to arctic, but this can blow out your energy bill and wear down your air conditioner's motor over time," says Barnes. 

"To get better efficiency from your air conditioner, try and keep the temperature difference to around 8°C. So, on a 32°C day, set your air conditioner to around 24°C. We recommend doing this as each degree cooler adds about 10% to your air con running costs, so overtime that will add up," says Barnes.

"Keeping your air conditioner clean will also ensure it's more effective at cooling your home. By cleaning the filter regularly and checking that everything is working well, you can ensure your air conditioning lasts all through summer," says Barnes.

2. Use fans

"Ceiling and pedestal fans are a great cost-effective way to keep cool if you're renting or can't afford to install air conditioning. We found keeping your fan on 24/7 over the summer would only cost a measly $30! Plus, if you use your fan alongside your air conditioning, it will circulate the air more effectively, giving your air con a break and saving you more," says Barnes.

3. Consider buying a thermometer 

"We recommend using an indoor-outdoor thermometer to monitor the temperature difference. If it's cooler outside than inside, open up all your doors and windows, and if it's hotter outside, close everything. Using the environment to your advantage is a cheap and energy efficient way to keep your home cool," says Barnes. 

4. Run your dishwasher at night 

"If you have a dishwasher, running it at night is best when it comes to keeping cool. Dishwashers can generate a lot of heat, so by putting it on before you go to bed, you can avoid dealing with a warmer kitchen throughout the day," says Barnes. 

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