Creating a cool home
Your set up at home influences your risk of heat-related illness. Key aspects of home architecture, cooling appliances and outdoor shade impacts the overall temperature within the home.
To keep your home cool in a sustainable way:
- Keep sunlight out
- Close curtains, shades, and blinds.
- Only keep non-sun facing windows open to let light in.
- Use fans strategically
- If windows are open, place fans outwards in the window to suck hot air out of the room.
- Check ceiling fans turn counter clockwise (this pulls hot air towards the ceiling).
- In two-storey houses, place fans on the top floor.
- Create cross breezes
- Open windows/doors on opposite sides of the room.
- Remove unnecessary obstructions from the room to create better airflow.
- Manage humidity
- Use a dehumidifier on extremely humid days.
- Use low-maintenance house plants like succulents and air plants.
- Avoid using heat producing appliances
- Reduce oven and dishwasher use as much as possible.
- Air dry clothing instead of using a clothes dryer.
- Reduce hot grooming practices (i.e. blow-drying, using a curling iron, etc).
- Use air conditioners efficiently
- Create cool rooms by blocking off unused areas.
- Seal up windows and doors to trap cool air.
- Set air conditioner no lower than 24°C.
Should doors and windows be kept closed?
- Well-insulated and shaded homes
should keep windows, doors and curtains closed during the day to stay cool. Open doors and windows overnight or during the late afternoon, when temperatures are lower.
- In poorly insulated homes
it is recommended to stay in the coolest rooms, closing windows, curtains, and doors – so long as temperatures inside the home are lower than outside. Create cross breezes and use air conditioning to stay cool.
More information about Heat Safety
- Queensland Government, Keeping Healthy in the Heat.
- South Australia Health Wellbeing and Food Safety during Hot Weather.
- NSW Health, Heatwave Preparation Checklist.
- Australian Climate Service.
If you need medical advice during the heat, call 13 HEALTH (13 432 584) or in the case of an emergency, always call triple zero (000).
Working together to take climate action
BlueCare’s heat health resources were funded by the Queensland Government under the Sector Adaptation Plan co-investment program, to advance climate change resilience in the human health and wellbeing sector. This is another example of how the Queensland Government's Climate Action Plan is making a difference.
BlueCare extends thanks to Griffith University for their partnership and extensive work to improve heat health awareness and resilience in Queensland, particularly for older persons. Learn more about Griffith University’s Extreme Heat and Older Persons (EtHOS) Project.