It’s only the beginning of May but daytime temperatures are already heating up in Malta. Summer hasn’t hit yet and even now it’s getting uncomfortable to walk into your stuffy car or your stuffy house. Imagine what it’s going to be like in June, let alone July and August! In Malta, the average summer daytime temperature is well above 20 degrees Celsius. Some days, the temperature can even reach over 30! Most of us tend to run our AC all the time when we’re at home. However, this can end up sending your bills skyrocketing. With this in mind, we have some great tips for you so you can keep cool at home for less this summer.
Close your curtains
Keeping your curtains closed during the day will help a lot! If you’re out at work all day, this is a great idea. You won’t have to sit in a dark house all day and you won’t get home to a hot box. Any room whose windows face the sun will be warmed up considerably if you leave your curtains open during the day. To avoid baking your apartment and turning it into a greenhouse, close your curtains. Then, when you get home, you can open up your curtains and your windows to let in some cool, evening air.
Use your fans effectively
Did you know that your ceiling fans actually have different settings? You can change the settings on your fans so that they spin clockwise or anti-clockwise. In the winter, you want your ceiling fans to spin clockwise. This pushes the cool air upwards and, in turn, blows the warmer air back down. In the summer, you should change the direction of your ceiling fans so that they spin anticlockwise. Doing this can actually make your room cooler by several degrees.
Switch your duvet for a sheet
Instead of keeping your duvet on the bed over the summer and sleeping with the AC on 18 degrees Celsius, swap it for a sheet! If you’ve moved to Malta from a colder country, this will feel very weird at first. However, it is something that you’ll get used to – trust me! You’ll love sleeping under a sheet even more when you realise how much money you’re saving on your electricity bill. On cooler nights, you might get away with just having the fan on. On warmer nights, you can switch on the AC, but you won’t need to put it on such a cold temperature. In fact, it’s recommended that you set your AC temperature to somewhere in the mid-20s.
Avoid cooking as much as possible
Using the hob or the oven can increase the temperature in your kitchen considerably. And, if you have an open-plan living area, cooking will also heat up your living room! It’s not fun to slave over the stove or open a scorching oven on a hot summer’s day. Try to avoid cooking with your oven and your hob as much as possible. No, we’re not suggesting that you get take away every day. There are plenty of meals you can make without using your hob or your oven. You can make lots of delicious salads, sandwiches and wraps. These are perfect during the summer, as often the heat can lower your appetite and you won’t always be in the mood for a heavy meal. With the kettle, you can also make noodle dishes and couscous, quinoa etc. A quick search online will give you loads of great ideas.
Turn on your dehumidifier
There’s no doubt about it, Malta is humid. On average, throughout the year, the humidity level is over 70%. On a hot day, the high levels of humidity can often make things feel really uncomfortable. According to the National Geographic, this is because your sweat cannot evaporate like it needs to – which is essential to helping you cool down. When the air is already saturated with water, there’s nowhere for your sweat to go and so, it stays on your skin. Turning on your dehumidifier is therefore a great idea during the summer. Lowering the humidity levels inside your apartment will make you feel a lot more comfortable. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, most home and electronics stores sell them in Malta. Try to get something that’s very efficient so that it doesn’t cost you a lot to run. If you don’t want to buy a dehumidifier, you might be able to use your AC instead. Most modern air conditioners have a ‘cool’, ‘heat’ and ‘dry’ setting. Avoid hanging loads of washing out inside as well, as this will increase the humidity too. If you can, hang them on a line outside in the sun, and they will dry much quicker!
Create a draught
A draught of air, especially cool evening air, will make things fresher and more comfortable inside. Don’t just open the window of the room you’re sitting in. Also open a window on the other side of the house, as this will create a nice draught. If you have a standing fan, you can also position this in front of an open window, to bring in some fresh air. You can also use the age-old trick of putting a bowl/bucket of ice in front of your fan. It won’t be as effective as your AC, but it’ll still create a nice breeze of cool air.
Close off unused rooms
If you’re only hanging out in one room, why pay to cool down your whole house? Close the door so that your AC is only working to cool down the room you’re in. This will save you money on your bills. At night, you only need your AC to cool down your bedroom, not the rest of the house, so close the door! Along the same lines, if your apartment is well-insulated, it’s much better. In the winter, the insulation will keep out the cold. In the summer, it will keep the cold in!