This Australian summer has been a little hotter than normal, with climate change to thank, but if you’re looking to keep the temperatures down a little more, try these tech savvy solutions.
It’s hot outside, but we don’t have to tell you. If you’re anything like us, the sweat is gathering quickly and it’s still early, and it feels as though nothing you do makes a difference.
We’re all feeling it, but some of us feel it more than others. If you’re living without air conditioning, you’re probably out of the home and in a mall as often as possible to escape the heat. When you’re home, you’re probably sitting there with an ice-cold drink just to survive.
However depending on what technology you have in your life at home, you may be able to make things a little easier. From smart fans to lighting to switching that TV off, here are a few suggestions to make life a little easier when the mercury rises at home.
Lock in the cool air when you’re not there
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that when you’re not at home and the doors are closed shut, there’s a pretty solid chance the cool air will remain cool, and doesn’t have to contend with anyone opening the door to the hot outside world or the heat coming off your body, but how do you get the air cool in the first place?
It might be time to check out an app-connected fan or air conditioner.
It’s not unusual to find technology that uses app connections or smart home integrations, but we typically think of these as speakers and security cameras. Home appliances also get the goods, and thanks to the app connection, you can control some of these devices with remote commands, allowing you to cool your home while you’re not there.
Dyson’s Pure Cool fans using its Air Multiplier technology are an example of that, providing people who can’t install an air conditioner — such as those renting — with the ability to control their fan using an app whether they’re home or not. The Dyson “Pure” range also includes a purifier, and the results can be checked online, too, meaning you can see if the air quality is better outside or inside, and let the purifier do its job.
There are also a few smart air conditioners out in the world, some of which are portable, but you’ll want a window open if you’re using a portable AC unit, which may or may not be something you’re comfortable with when you’re out and about.
Smart air conditioners are becoming more common, thanks in part to the ubiquity of both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, but if you’re not sure, check the box or the company’s support page of the air conditioner model you have or are thinking of buying.
Cooler colour lights to chill with
Our brains are pretty powerful things, and one of the ways we can help ourselves feel a little cooler is with light.
There’s a good chance that most of the lights around your house are LED-based, but if you happen to have smart lights integrated in your home, you can exert just that little bit more control on the hot day thanks to your light bulbs.
Whether you have a Philips bulb, something from LiFX, or an app-controlled light from another brand, you should find the light’s app allows you to cool down the light colour with blues and pale whites. While light is typically warm with tinges of yellow and orange, it doesn’t have to be, and when light has blue filtered in, that light can make us feel cooler, as well as more energised, too.
Being app controlled and connected with a smart home helps make that even more useful, because that light can go from cool to warm simply by a few touches, or even via voice control.
Alternatively, switch the lights off everywhere in your home and just let the actual lights guide how you feel.
Turn off the telly and switch to sound instead
You may not realise it, but there’s a piece of technology in your life that you probably turn to on those hot summer days that is also producing heat: your TV.
Hold your hand in front of your TV when it’s on and you’ll see what we mean, because a device that requires as much power as a TV does is going to generate some heat.
In the past decade, television manufacturers have made some progress to how much heat comes off TV panels, but they still release some heat. It’s not likely to be enough to keep your home toasty, but when you’re trying to mitigate as much heat as possible, turning off the telly makes some sense.
Newer screens, particularly of the OLED variety, should handle warmth better than something old, but you can expect heat off most television screens, and every bit of warmth adds up.
Instead, consider listening to music, sitting on your couch or somewhere comfortable, and just dealing with the heat without any excess heat in your life. Speakers will produce some heat, too, but at least you won’t be able to feel it when you walk by.
Let your refrigerator keep your cool
The very point of your fridge is to keep things cold, but sadly we can’t just jump inside and hope for the best.
However we can take advantage of what the fridge can do in order to keep us cool, it just requires a bit of preparation and foresight.
For instance, you can get a whole bunch of ice cubes ready and leave a tray of them in front of a fan, pushing out slightly colder air directly, or you can freeze wet towels and damp cloths before placing them on your body to cool you down.
There are other things you can do, such as leave a bottle of cold water in the fridge or freezer, and then run the bottle’s cold exterior over you while you’re trying to cool down, or even just leave an ice pack on your head as it melts.
Ultimately, you can take advantage of the things in your house already tasked with keeping food cool to keep yourself cool, even if it means not climbing in yourself, tempting as it is.