5 Tips for Fighting the Summer Heat at Home

You may think this is an old, dusty receipt but it was barely a week old. I should have taken a picture of the back of the piece of paper which was as clean and bright as an Edelweiss for a comparison. So if it wasn't dirty, what happened? I left this receipt in the car over the weekend and by Monday, it was lightly charred by the intense heat generated by the Summer sun. Tucky asked me if I could fry an egg on my bonnet a few days ago. I should tell him to bring along bacon and chops as well. Who needs a barbie pit under a smelting 41°C heat? I was lucky that it didn't catch fire or I would be hunting for another car by now.

The heat wave was so bad this week that the Duke and Duchess of the Brook drove 5 hours south for a heat retreat and was kind enough to update me the reducing temperature hour by hour as they went further and further from Summer's invasion. She ended up slightly dazed at the end of her long car drive but let out an annoying, "20 degrees! Ahhhhhhh......" before I smashed my mobile phone hard on my bed. It made matters worse to learn friends in Adelaide were wiggling their butts at sub 20 degrees high days. Here, we are going into our final week before the Christmas week and yet again, it looks like Perth is going to be the hottest place on Earth this Christmas. Elsewhere it is snowing in Egypt and Vietnam. If there is such thing as a Santa list, this must be my punishment for being on the naughty list. Burn, asingaporeanson! Burn for your sins.

This is my third Summer in Perth and having stayed in different houses each time, I observed the little things that make a difference to whether our Summer is a terrible one or one that we can cope reasonably well. So I'm sharing some pointers with you to take home with.

Big house good, small house better

Forget about what the air condition salesman tells you. No matter what system you install, a smaller cubic metre of air will cool faster than a larger one under the same specifications. Period. 

Watch the West wall

If you are having normal working and sleeping hours, you would want to pay special attention to the west walls of your house because this side has the least amount of hours to cool down before bedtime, which is arguably the most important period you spend at home if you want good health. I do not advocate switching on the air conditioner throughout your sleep because I believe air quality will be greatly reduced. Therefore the West wall is a crucial factor to your cool nights of natural air.

Thus when looking for a house, look for one with the the least surface area exposed to the West. It could be either a shorter span or a side blocked by a fence, a neighbour's house or even a large tree's shade. A shaded West wall makes a HUGE difference in the level of trapped heat in within your walls. Also, it would be better if none of the bedrooms are located along the West wall.

Timing of air conditioning

If you need to switch on the air con, do it after sun set. It is pointless fighting a losing battle to do it earlier, you will only end up hurting your pockets. Most of us return from work close to sun set timings anyway, so this tip is more applicable for weekends or housewives who are at home during the day.


What if it gets too hot in the day, shouldn't we use the air conditioner? We found that shading your windows works tremendously well for keeping heat out. When my wife installed reflective windshields (normally used in cars) for all the windows along the Eastern walls (do it to even your walls if you can), we found the rate that the house was heated up during the day significantly slower. Of course, a smaller house with less surface area helps. The interior was actually bearable without the need of air conditioning during 35°C days. On the flip side, the interior would be rather dark like as if we were vampires who hated the sunlight. So long it works..

Drink plenty of water

A human body is a cooling system by itself. However it is a manual process unlike an automatic one of a typical air conditioner. Instead of refrigerant, we use cool (not icy) water to cool our system down at regular intervals. No doubt that will mean more trips to the toilet but you will feel better for it under the blistering heat. Not only that, it prevents heatstroke and other heat related problems such as sore throats.


  1. On your comments on Shade

    I know you are renting but you should consider getting installed Shade Sail which is as little as $50 for 5 X 5 X 5 m to stop sun from directly heating up your wall/ window

    The shade can be removed in cooler season

    1. Bunnings price (my favourite shopping place)

  2. If I am not wrong, those receipts are thermal.. so it probably is not a sign of being burnt. just the chemicals turning black with heat...

  3. Thank you for the clarification/suggestions, wise ones