Cooling your home

Canberra’s climate has been changing since 1950, seeing the mercury rise year on year. Records indicate the number of days over 35 degrees has almost doubled since 1976, compared to the previous three decades. However, there are a number of ways you can stay cool this summer, and reduce your energy use.

What can I do?

  • Increase the air conditioner temperature from 18 to 23 degrees
  • Keep doors closed when the air conditioner is operating

Shade your home

The best solution to keeping cool is to prevent the sun’s rays from hitting windows and walls. Blinds and curtains on the inside of windows can be useful – but are only half as effective as keeping the sun off the windows in the first place. You can also shade your home by:

  • Creating shade with deciduous trees and plants to shade your home in summer
  • Use shade cloth, awnings and matchstick blinds to shade the house
  • Cool down your concrete driveway and patio in summer by shading them with pot plants and shade cloth

Ventilate

  • Open your windows at night to let in the cooler evening air, then close them early in the morning
  • Use a fan to keep cool during the day, but don’t forget to them off whenever you leave the room
  • Place a fan near an open window at night to draw cool air into your home

Generate less heat inside

  • Put off jobs that create heat, like ironing and cooking, until a cooler time of the day
  • Limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as ovens, halogen lights and computers
  • Cook outside on the barbecue or create meals that don’t require cooking
The ACT Climate Change Snapshot projects the average temperature will increase by 0.9 degrees by 2030 – and up to 2.3 degrees by 2060.