At my place the big question is: Do you close the blinds and curtains and shut everything up on the hot day, or do you leave windows open to encourage a breeze through the house?
Apologies to fans of fresh air. If the temperature outside is higher than inside, then keep everything closed. Otherwise all you are doing is letting hot air in. In the evening when the outside temperature is cooler, that’s when you throw open the doors and windows.
However according to yourhome.gov.au, research showed that whether you open or close windows is just a small part of passive cooling.
It said that to really stay cool when the heat is on, you need to think about what type of house you have, and what its surroundings are like.
Direct sun can generate the same heat as a single bar radiator over each square metre of a surface, but effective shading from a source like a deciduous tree can block up to 90 per cent of this heat, and save energy at the same time.
Plus, if your home is well insulated and shaded, it should be able to resist several days of extreme heat.
It also said that air conditioning a poorly insulated house with little shading is expensive and futile.
In a well-insulated and shaded house, air-conditioning can be used quite efficiently: try setting your thermostat to around 26c and, combined with ceiling fans, this should provide comfort with lower running costs.