How To Beat Australia’s Record Heatwaves

This February, Australia has been beset by record heatwaves and the pain is set to continue in the days to come. Here’s how to keep your home, car, pets and body as cool as possible without murdering your electricity bill in the process.

Last weekend, parts of Australia reached over 40 degrees Celsius with temperatures barely abating during the night. If you’re stuck in an AC-free home or workplace you’re probably feeling lethargic, miserable and horribly unproductive.

After a brief respite this week, the sweating heat has returned with a vengeance. NSW has already topped 30 degrees in some places and the temperature is expected to stay that way over the weekend. With that in mind, here are our best beat-the-heat life hacks from the archives. Good luck!

Ten Ways To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning:
Whether you just don’t have air conditioning or want to save money on energy, there are lots of ways to keep cool as the mercury rises. Here are some good ones.

How To Cool Down A Car That’s Been Baking In The Sun:
Nobody likes being stuck inside a hot car — it can leave you feeling suffocated, dehydrated and uncomfortably sticky in a matter of seconds. While most vehicles now come equipped with air conditioning, it can still take a tortuously long time to expel all that hot air; especially if you’re sitting in the back seat. These tricks from the Lifehacker archives will dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes to cool your car’s interior.

Five DIY Alternatives To Running An Air Conditioner:
Don’t have an air conditioner and can’t take the heat? Don’t want the huge electricity bill that might result from using AC all-day long? Whatever your motivation, here are five DIY ideas to stay cool this summer.

DIY Water Misting Rack Keeps You Cool In The Backyard:
There’s nothing like a BBQ in your backyard once summer rolls around — but it does get hot out there. To keep things cool, set up a DIY water misting rack on the cheap.

Keep Your Room Cool At Night By Facing Your Fan Out, Not In:
Running air conditioning can be very expensive, but you still need to cool down at night so you can sleep comfortably. Real Simple notes that a fan blowing air out of your room is better than one blowing in.

Two DIY Air Conditioners Put To The Test:
DIY air conditioners may seem like a cheap way to beat the heat, but they aren’t perfect. This video puts two homemade versions to the test and compares them to real AC units.

Make A Small Air Conditioner Out Of An Ice Bucket:
Looking for a cool breeze without the expense of an actual air conditioning unit? Here’s a way to use a bucket and some ice to cool down an entire room.

Ask LH: What Can I Eat To Keep Cool?:
Dear Lifehacker, What should I eat during summer to keep my body cool? In winter you have soup to stay warm: beyond cool drinks, what’s the summer equivalent? I’d like to know how to keep my oven of a body as cool as possible to fight the heat!

Build Your Own Backyard DIY Dunk Bucket:
Building your own dunk tank is a huge endeavour, but if you want a similar backyard attraction without breaking the bank, this dunk “bucket” is easy to make, affordable, and still plenty of fun to use.

How To Keep Your Pets Cool Without Blowing Your Energy Bill:
As the weather heats up, Australian households won’t just be cranking up the air conditioning for themselves. Some households will be turning it on for their dogs or cats. We look at some ways to keep your pets happy and hydrated without relying entirely on your AC.

Extreme heat: near-50 degree tops forecast for remote regions of Western Australia [The Age]

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