Ventilation is also an important way to regulate your home's air temperature and keep it free of condensation build-up, which can result in mould, rot or damp. Once the temperature starts to drop in the evening, or after a cool change, it's important to open your doors and windows to flush warm air from your house and allow cooler outside air to enter. The benefits are likely to be greatest if you open doors and windows facing the breeze and also doors and windows on the opposite side of the house.
Careful selection and positioning of plants can provide summer shading and act as a buffer against hot winds. Tall, deciduous canopy trees provide shade to north windows while still allowing the lower winter sun through. Smaller, deciduous shrubs are useful for shading east and west windows and walls. Deciduous creepers over a north-facing pergola will provide shade for windows and walls.
If you need to actively cool your home with supplementary cooling, choose the most appropriate system for your needs.
Ceiling, wall-mounted and portable electric fans can be a cheap and effective way to stay comfortable on warm, humid summer nights.
Evaporative cooling systems draw air through a moist pad, cooling and humidifying the air before it is blown through your house. They are available in ducted, wall-mounted and portable units, and work best in hot, dry conditions. Evaporative coolers are less effective on humid days, and are not well suited to humid climates.
Air conditioners extract heat from the air inside your house and transfer it outside, cooling the air to a temperature determined by a thermostat. They are available in portable, room and ducted systems.