Feeling the heat? You’re not alone! As the silly season rolls in, so too does the hotter weather in Australia. While the summer can be a joyous time of social events and outdoor activities, the last place you want to feel hot is inside your home. Houses that are too warm can lead to poor quality sleep, feeling flustered and uncomfortable, and could be potentially dangerous for pets or older members of your family.
Australia is well-known for its warm summers and mild winters – it’s one of the many reasons tourists flock there year after year. The hot temperatures pair perfectly with trips to the beach, rooftop bars and laid-back social outings. But our warmer weather brings along with it some issues as well, with Australia suffering catastrophic bushfire seasons, many heatstroke cases, and even deaths from scorchingly hot temperatures.
These hot conditions not only cause problems for citizens but also have an impact on our homes. Specifically, appliances, electricity, and pets within the home are affected by hot weather conditions.
Heat causes a decline in air quality, making it harder to breathe. The potential of the air to contain particles of ash or dust which can enter the lungs is also much higher within the warmer months. These particles can cause health issues such as bronchitis, asthma or emphysema.
Hotter weather can also bring along with it a decline in mental health. There are more incidences of low mood, rage, and conditions such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the summer months, as the heat can quickly cause exhaustion and insomnia.
Heatstroke is another major issue to watch out for in Australia’s summer months, which occurs when someone’s body overheats. This can cause the sufferer to collapse, or experience dizziness and confusion. Dehydration is a huge risk factor for developing heat stroke, and drinking more water should always be undertaken during high temps.
Heat can affect fridges and freezers that are kept in areas where there are high temperatures, such as in the back shed. When the appliance is heated to high levels, it must run hotter, faster and longer to function at normal capacity. This results in your fridge or freezer wearing out much faster, and a replacement could be expensive. It’s a good idea to keep your fridge indoors in a cool area of your home.
High temperatures can also bring electrical storms, which can cause power surges and render your appliances useless. Avoid overuse of anyone appliance during storms, as this can cause them to wear out quickly.
Pets living with you at home can suffer from heatstroke as easily as humans can, which is why it’s so important to make sure your pet has adequate access to shade, freshwater or cooling appliances. Prevention of heatstroke is easier and cheaper than an emergency trip to the vet, and preparing in advance for upcoming hot temperatures will help you keep your pet healthy and comfortable.
If your home doesn’t have built-in air conditioning to keep the temperature inside at a cool constant, there are a few things you can do to cool your house down. Rental home dwellers may look into purchasing a portable air conditioning unit like the ones here, fan or air dehumidifier to help keep the temperature low.
Keeping your blinds closed will help keep the heat out, and are even more effective if they’re blackout curtains. Once temperatures drop as the sun goes down, open the windows and let the cooler breeze through to cool down your home. Turning your lights and appliances that produce a lot of heat off will also cool down your home.
Fans can be easily turned into misting fans with some DIY and ice, cooling down not only you but the air around you with the humble use of wind and water. Another way to recreate this effect quickly is to have a cold shower, don’t dry off, and stand in front of the fan. Your body temperature will be instantly lowered as the air cools and dries the water on your skin.
Some people swear by placing their sheets or pillows into the freezer before they go to bed, so they can enjoy one last cool blast as they drift off to sleep. You can also fill and freeze water bottles to keep nearby your feet to cool them down as they sleep.
With a little preparation, the summer heat doesn’t have to feel overwhelming year after year. Preparing frozen bottles of water ahead of time, escaping the heat by using public transport, or visiting places with air conditioning will help keep you cool and in control.
If you can’t beat the heat, join it! Head to the beach and create new memories with your friends, or take your pet to the park and enjoy the breeze together. Australia’s hotter weather is there to enjoy, so slip slop slap and head outside!
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