With the end of the year just round the corner, you might be wondering how to keep your home cool this coming summer. The influx of forty degree days coupled with the signature dry heat that can be experienced virtually everywhere except Australia’s tropical northeast, makes the months between December and February a touch unbearable both indoors and especially outdoors.
But with the summer of 2023 looking to be yet another La Niña summer here in Australia, it’s highly likely we’re going to see more days with 90% humidity over forty degree days. And although it’s certainly comforting to know that it’ll be trickier to cook an egg on the sidewalk, summer days with record levels of humidity can still get just as uncomfortable and perhaps even just as dangerously hot as forty degree days.
So how can you ensure that your home stays as cool and comfortable as possible during this coming La Niña summer? Our residential HVAC specialists at Jacob Refrigeration are here to share their own tips and tricks for dealing with heat and humidity at home during the height of Aussie summers.
How To Keep Your Home Cool This Coming La Niña Summer
1. Swap out your evaporative cooling unit
The first thing you may think to do is upgrade or perhaps even service your air conditioning system, just to make sure that it’s up to the task of keeping your home cool over this coming La Niña summer. Spring is also the perfect time to clear out the vents in your home’s ducted heating or cooling system, both in order to boost the efficiency of your system as well as to reduce the likelihood of your household experiencing a hay fever flare-up indoors once pollen counts start to climb.
Alongside cleaning out your vents and searching for any signs of leaks or cracks in your home’s heating and cooling systems, it’s also worth considering the efficiency and suitability of those systems to the unique climate that accompanies La Niña summers here in Australia. As La Niña summers are characterised by incredibly moisture-rich air and excessive rainfall, you may find that an evaporative cooling system isn’t actually well-suited for the task of keeping your home cool during these particularly high-humidity summer days.
The reason for this is that the wet filter pads used in evaporative cooling systems become a bit of a breeding ground for mould and bacteria as the weather grows more humid. With La Niña summers consistently bringing record high humidity levels to Australia’s east coast, running an evaporative cooling unit without a proper coastal air conditioner in these weather conditions is more likely to breed bacteria than effectively keep your home cool this summer.
2. Set your ceiling fans to summer mode
Although swapping out your evaporative heating and cooling unit for a more humidity-friendly home cooling system will help to better maintain moisture levels throughout your home’s interiors, there’s still sure to be an abundance of moisture in the air during any La Niña summer. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you and your family consider how best to remove the excess moisture from your home to keep your home cool this summer.
Removing moisture in your home’s air can be achieved by opening your windows to let in some breeze during summer evenings (just be sure to install flyscreens to keep the mozzies out!), or running your ceiling fans to help disperse hot air. Just make sure that your ceiling fans are set to summer mode by flicking the switch on your fan unit that controls the rotation of your blades.
You want the blades of your ceiling fan to spin anti-clockwise in the warmer summer months, as this anti-clockwise rotation will direct cold air down into your interiors. Contrastingly, a gentle clockwise spin can help direct cool air upwards to retain warmer air indoors during winter months.
3. Invest in a dehumidifier
If opening your windows isn’t an option or you don’t have ceiling fans installed in your home, then we highly recommend investing in a dehumidifier for your bedrooms to help make summer evenings a lot more comfortable. Dehumidifiers work in a similar fashion to reverse cycle air conditioners in that they possess evaporator and condenser components in order to take in external hot air that’s then cooled by evaporative cooling technology.
The compressor unit in your dehumidifier then retains the moisture in that air before the air is passed through the condenser, and then expelled back out into your home as dry room temperature air. Simply put, dehumidifiers can play a monumental role in keeping the walls of your home free from moisture during high-humidity days. This can in turn, reduce your risks of procuring mould and help solve the answer to how to keep your home cool during this coming La Niña summer.
4. Consider home insulation and solar orientation
When it comes to keeping your home cool during a La Niña summer, it’s well worth taking measures to reduce the likelihood of your home retaining warm air wherever possible. Although warm air can be expelled from your home by opening windows or running fans, oftentimes you may find that there are structural or architectural reasons why your home may be prone to retaining a greater amount of warm air.
For example, homes with north-facing windows are proven to receive more sunlight in the southern hemisphere due to the placement of the sun in the sky. Solar orientation is also the reason why east-facing windows receive morning light whereas west-facing windows receive evening light as the sun moves from the east to the west over the course of the day.
If your home does possess north-facing windows, you may find that the interior spaces that boast these windows are more likely to feel stifling during the height of summer, as the harsh summer sun will be hitting those windows with full effect. These harsh direct rays can be combated by covering your north-facing windows with heat-reflective window coverings like white curtains or sunscreen blinds.
Another primary reason why your home may be retaining heat during warmer weather, making it extra difficult to keep your home cool during the summer, is simply because your home’s insulation could be heat retentive and better suited to winter. Thankfully, installing reflective foil insulation over your home’s existing insulation provides a quick and easy fix here, as reflective foil insulation can reduce the risk of your home absorbing and retaining heat during summer weather.
So, how to keep your home cool this summer?
As you can see, keeping your home cool and comfortable during the summer doesn’t have to involve running your air conditioner 24/7, even during the uncomfortably humid days that characterise La Niña summers here in Australia. With just a few quick fixes, clean-ups, and upgrades, you and your family can enjoy comfortable interiors free from excess moisture.
Want to enquire about our air conditioning maintenance or installation services to help your home get summer-ready? Simply get in touch with the team at Jacob Refrigeration in order to receive a free quote on any of our HVAC services today.