Climate change is making our summers hotter and longer. In Darebin, temperatures often reach more than 30 degrees in summer, which can be dangerous for people and animals. Some basic tips to remember during a heatwave are:
- Keep your home cool
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Wear sunscreen, a hat and light, loose clothing if you go outside
- Keep your body cool and hydrated by drinking water and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.
Webinar recording - Keep Cool, Save Money
To learn more about how you can Keep Cool and Save Money this Summer, check out our webinar recording. Our friends at Uniting give practical advice on how to keep your house cool and save on your electricity and gas bills. You can also view the slides from the webinar here.
Watch the Keep Cool Save Money Webinar.
Energy Assist Program
You can access free independent telephone advice on how to improve the efficiency of your home and reduce your electricity bills through the Energy Assist program offered by Brotherhood of St Laurence, Uniting and Australian Energy Foundation. Call 1800 830 029 or email email@example.com to access this free service. Anyone experiencing hardship as a result of COVID is eligible.
Keep Cool in Darebin Map
Download the Keep Cool in Darebin Map. This is your guide to where to cool down, get a drink of water and access help on a hot day in Darebin – for free. For a hardcopy of the map please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Cool Postcards
Download our handy postcard for some great tips on keeping cool in your home.
- Check weather forecasts often at the Bureau of Meteorology website
- Reschedule outdoor events, physical or sporting activities on days when extreme heat is forecast
- If you are on medication, check with your doctor before going out in the summer heat
- Stock up on food and other essentials so you don't have to leave the house during the heat
Steps for dealing with the heat
- Drink plenty of water regularly to replenish fluids lost through perspiration.
- Don't leave people or pets in cars
- Keep cool by putting a damp towel around your neck and sit in front of a fan or air conditioner
- Block sunlight from windows with heavy curtains or blinds
- Stay indoors during the heat of the day
- Open windows at night to let cooler air in to your house
Signs of heat stress can include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating. If you feel don't well call your doctor, Nurse-On-Call (1300 606 024) or in an emergency, ring 000 (triple zero).
Check in on others
If you have older, sick or frail neighbours, check in on them on heatwave days to make sure they're okay. Pass on the tips listed above to help them reduce their chances of suffering from a heat related illness. If they receive services from our Aged and Disability department they can also be put on our Client Heatwave Register so we can check in on them too. For more information call 8470 8828.
Don't forget to look after your pets during summer, make sure to:
- Provide plenty of fresh, cool water every day
- Ensure they have access to shaded, cool areas
- Walk your dog early morning or in the evening to avoid sunburn and dehydration
- Never leave your pet in a car or hot, enclosed space
- If concerned, take your pet to your local vet
For further advice visit the RSPCA website.
10 simple cooling tips to keep your bills in check
To help you stay safe and save money this summer the Australian Energy Foundation have put together their top 10 tips for keeping your home cool:
- Set Your Temperature Wisely
Set your thermostat to cool to 23-26 degrees in summer. In winter, only heat the house up to 18-20 degrees. Every degree lower or higher can add 10% to your running costs.
- Use Fans
Sometimes, a fan is all you need for some welcome cooling air. Since fans cost only $5-$20 per season to run, using them as much as possible helps lower your energy bill.
- Shade Outdoor Unit
Either have your outdoor air conditioner component installed in a shady place, or protect it from direct sunlight with an awning. This will help it run more efficiently and protect it from overheating.
- Maintain Regularly
Use the maintenance schedule contained in your air conditioner’s manual. This will head off many energy-sapping or expensive-to-fix issues before they even begin.
- Clean the Filter
Clogged filters make your air conditioner work much harder to produce the same effect; for optimum energy use, clean or replace them every 1-2 months.
- Only Heat or Cool Occupied Areas
If no one’s in a room, there’s little reason to condition it. Room sensors, smart controls, and timers for your aircon/heating can be used or get in the habit of turning it off when you leave.
- Keep Doors & Windows Closed
Tell your fellow inhabitants to keep all doors and windows closed as much as possible. Using thick curtains in sun-exposed rooms is also a great way to keep temperatures lower.
- Insulate Your House
A fully insulated home compared to a non-insulated home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home by around 40 to 50%.
- Buy an Energy-Efficient Split-System Air Conditioner
If you have a ducted air conditioner system, you’re spending $100-$300 more — per season — than you need to. Energy-efficient split-system air conditioners are not only cheaper to buy and install, but also cheaper to run.
- Go Solar
This is the biggest investment, but also the biggest savings - by far. In fact, it’s not even close: solar systems save their owners 30-60% on their energy bills, and pay for themselves in 3-7 years.
Our Extreme Heat Sub Plan aims to reduce the impact of heatwave on our community through education, service provision and urban design. For further information and resources, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website and The Better Health Channel.
Never leave children unattended in cars - see link