I am seeking advice on cooling. I know that in the northern hemisphere you are approaching winter, but here in the southern hemisphere, Australia, we are coming on to summer, and they can be ferociously hot.
I'm looking for suggestions on keeping my place cool in summer, and hoping some who experience hot summers there, may have ideas I haven't thought of.
I live in a second floor rented apartment, no structural changes can be made, ie., installing an air conditioning unit. The windows are large and face east which gets all the morning sun, and west, which gets all the afternoon sun. Of course I draw the curtains against the sun, and have simple fans, which however when it's very hot just blow warm air around by day end.
I would be grateful if anyone has any further suggestions on how I can beat the heat. Thank you.
If there is any way you can shade your windows, (such as awwnings, or some sort of outside curtain), that would go a long way toward preventing your apt. from becoming a greenhouse. In the US, we can get freestanding "portable" air conditioning units, that have a large hose that vents to the outside by way of a window (no permanent installaton).
If you can, go to your hardware store, and ask if there is a reflective film you can apply to the window to keep out the sun before it comes in. If not, and you don't mind the look, cut some pieces of cardboard to fit up close to the window panes, and put aluminum foil on them. Place them in the windows early in the morning so that the sun can't come through the glass at all. You can take them out later in the day once the sun isn't hitting the windows any more. When you just close the curtains (especially if they're dark), the sun will come in and heat things up even if they're closed).
If it cools off at night, open up as much as you can, and try to get the place cooled down, using fans to move the air through.
Hopefully some others will have ideas, as well!
I like to hang plastic sheeting over windows to keep the sun out. There are solar sheeting to put over windows for this but most of them are too thin and tear easily. I go to the hardware store to get the plastic sheeting and I get a ton of it for six dollars and some change. You can use a pressure rod, and tape the plastic sheeting over the rod and then hang it up.
Also, when the house heats up, face the fans toward the open windows so the hot air will be forced out the windows. When the house is not really stifling, then turn the fans back around facing away from the window.
Covering the west windows all the time during the summer will help, unless the scenery is worth the heat.
I lived 3 years in Tucson, and got used to having the windows open all night, then closing them in the am trapping in the cool air. We had AC, but I didn't turn it on till afternoon.
If there is a way to find a swamp cooler, they are marvelous. They use a straw base for the cooling water that you pour in, then it condenses in a pan under the unit. You use that to keep the plants cool, or reuse it the next day. They don't need to sit in a window, so there is one solution.
If you have the fan, do turn them during the day as the other poster suggested. I have gotten so desperate that I have sat a big plastic bowl of ice cubes in front and then refrozen the water over and over, recycling the resource you have so little of down there.
Cool or cold rags soaked in water in the fridge help to wipe down the face and arms during the day, too.
I hope all this helps.
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When it is 100 degree (F) outside, inside the apartment (900 SF) is 92 degrees. The apartment does not have air conditioning equipment.