After a third straight La Niña event delivered a cool start to spring for much of Australia, the weather is starting to heat up – as are, sadly, our power bills. Amid a cost-of-living crisis, many families might feel they face a stark choice between paying ever more for air conditioning to keep cool, or stopping their household budget from spiralling out of control.

As Ross Gordon and his colleagues remind us, though, it’s not just a question of high energy costs versus discomfort. There’s another cost to consider, as people’s health suffers in sustained heat. Mercifully, their research has identified a range of actions Australians can take to keep cool this summer while managing their energy bills.

Their top 10 tips for keeping your home cool are all proven, cost-effective ways to escape the heat without cranking up the air conditioner. They’re better for your health, your budget and, by reducing energy emissions, the planet.

John Watson

Cities Editor and Deputy Energy + Environment Editor

Top 10 tips to keep cool this summer while protecting your health and your budget

Ross Gordon, Queensland University of Technology; Gordon Waitt, University of Wollongong; Theresa Harada, University of Wollongong

Soaring power bills add to people’s worries about keeping their homes cool, especially as their health can suffer if they don’t. Fortunately, there are effective and affordable ways to beat the heat.

For burglars, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: how to keep your home safe these holidays

Natalie Gately, Edith Cowan University; Suzanne Rock, Edith Cowan University

Our research has focused on finding out more about why offenders commit burglary, what they’re looking for and how they decide which house to target. Here’s what you need to know.

How to protect yourself against bushfire smoke this summer

C Raina MacIntyre, UNSW Sydney

Be prepared. Download an air quality app, stock up on respirators and stay inside if you can.

6 non-fiction reads for kids this summer, recommended by kids aged 9 to 11

Kate Douglas, Flinders University

How can you get your kids to read this summer? Research has found they respond well to reading non-fiction – so we’ve gathered 6 top non-fiction books, recommended by the kids themselves.

4 facts about seagulls that will make you love these relentless chip thieves

Grainne Cleary, Deakin University

For one, they’ll work as a team to dive bomb potential enemies, even vomiting or defecating on them.

Rethinking the big spring clean chuck-out frenzy: how keeping old things away from the landfill can ‘spark joy’ in its own way

Ashley Jameson Eriksmoen, Australian National University

Not everything needs to be Marie Kondo-ed just because it doesn’t ‘spark joy’. Ask yourself if there’s a less wasteful option.

The earliest humans swam 100,000 years ago, but swimming remains a privileged pastime

Jane Messer, Macquarie University

Neanderthals living in Italy swam confidently and in early Egyptian, Greek and Roman images people are shown swimming overarm. But today, only one in four people in low income countries can swim.

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

Environment + Energy


Arts + Culture

Books + Ideas

Business + Economy


Featured jobs

View all
University of Canberra
Canberra ACT, Australia • Full Time
The Conversation AU
Melbourne VIC, Australia • Full Time
The Conversation AU
Melbourne VIC, Australia • Full Time
List your job

Featured Events, Courses & Podcasts

View all
Politics with Michelle Grattan Podcast

25 November 2021 - 25 November 2024 •

Promote your event or course

​Contact us here to list your job, or here to list your event, course or podcast.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here