Fanning the flames on a hot topic
Is it hot or what?
In recent weeks soaring temperatures have made going back to the relative comfort of airconditioned offices almost a pleasure.
In Sydney, we’ve had the added bonus of air so thick with humidity that at times it feels like you could swim through it while waiting in hope for that late southerly change to come.
At our house, it’s a matter of locking the place down and drawing the blinds during the day and then opening all the doors and windows at night to draw the breeze through.
This is generally sufficient for temperatures up to about 30C or so, but as the numbers have climbed in recent weeks, the house has started to feel like a sauna.
Even fans strategically placed around the house have offered little relief, especially when we’re trying to sleep.
I can already imagine that some might be wondering why we don’t have airconditioning. Indeed, my children have started their own campaign to raise their standard of living with aircon.
But after years of writing about the benefits of cross ventilation and thermal mass, it’s almost admitting defeat to say it might be time for something less economical with a higher level of energy consumption.
Also, the old house really does leak like a sieve, with artificial indoor air temperatures difficult to maintain, both in winter and summer.
But I feel for my kids — and our pets. While I’ve spent the hottest days this summer in the office, the kids have sweltered at home, taking the bus to the beach or the local pool when they can. The thing is, most of the year it’s fine. It’s just that when it’s hot in Australia, it’s really hot and even a few sleepless nights are too many. At least it makes going back to school look good.