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Keeping the family cool during the summer can feel like a challenge, particularly with this set to be the third summer in a row with record breaking temperatures. With the accompanying rising electricity prices in Australia, relying only on your home’s air conditioning can quickly become very expensive. Follow the tips in this helpful guide to stay cool this summer.

Close your blinds during the day

Closing all of your blinds during the day is an easy way to keep indoor temperatures low by blocking out sunlight. Closing the blinds can also reduce a home’s energy costs by 10 to 15 per cent.

Plant a tree or grow vines for natural cooling

A recent study by a researcher at the Pacific Northwest Research Station found that planting a shade tree can help reduce a home’s energy costs by keeping the home naturally cool during the day. Trees planted in places where they provided afternoon shade were more effective than those that only provided shade in the morning. Growing vines on the side of one’s home can similarly help to reduce the property’s temperature.

Choose cooling indoor family activities

On hot days when it is necessary to stay indoors, choose family activities that are cooling. For example, make home-made popsicles or buy a new board game to play with the family. Families with children can try to redirect their children’s energy to the pool or beach and encourage a calmer lifestyle at home.

Stay hydrated, preferably with a hot beverage

Staying hydrated is important year round, but particularly during the heat of the summer. The Institute of Medicine suggests that men should drink about three litres of water a day and women 2.2 litres. Carrying a refillable water bottle throughout the day is an easy way to gauge how much water one drinks. When choosing what to drink at home, you can try a hot, decaffeinated tea recipe for its cooling and hydrating properties. Yes really! A study found that drinking hot beverages helps to cool the body more effectively than drinking cold liquids.