How to stay cool in the city this summer

Coolest suburbs

Chief meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, Gabrielle Woodhouse, says sea breezes are a major factor in keeping the suburbs cool because they bring cooler air ashore from over the ocean.

“In the summer, the suburbs closest to the beach are generally the coolest because of the afternoon ocean breezes,” Woodhouse said. “In the suburbs farther from the beach, the sea breeze often arrives much later or not at all, so the afternoon high tends to be higher. Conversely, suburbs closer to the sea tend to be slightly warmer at night than the west due to the ocean.”

It’s best to head to the coast during the day and head west for your beauty sleep.

cinemas

Regardless of the time of year, all thermostats at the Palace Cinemas are set between 20 and 23 degrees, said Managing Director Benjamin Zeccola. It’s a temperature range that’s comfortable and comfortable for most people to walk into, but can get chilly as a movie progresses. “Bring a cardigan because after an hour, when the cool breeze is blowing down, it can get cold on your skin,” Zeccola said.

Due to fluctuations of up to a few degrees, theater staff check both the air temperature and the temperature of surfaces, including seat backs and walls, to determine if the rooms are adequately cooled.

It’s a tough job trying to please everyone, but Zeccola said the summer months are the busiest for cinemas. “Every day someone walks out of a movie and says it’s too hot, followed by someone else who says it’s too cold,” he says. “But the period from Boxing Day to Australia Day is the busiest for us.”

Museums

While areas with multiple access points or very high ceilings can be challenging, the Australian Museum in Darlinghurst is kept at a similarly constant 22 degrees, plus or minus one to two degrees, to preserve its objects.

A museum spokesman said both temperature and humidity can have negative effects on organic materials and some minerals such as opals.

“To help with that, we have high-end showcases that securely hold objects in microenvironments,” the spokesperson said.

The best cooling

If you can’t get to somewhere cooler, there are a few things you can do to cool off.

Smallcombe said that for those who don’t have the luxury of jumping in a pool, cooling down your surroundings or reducing your activity level are effective ways to cool down.

Beachgoers at Bondi Icebergs Pool this summer.

Beachgoers at Bondi Icebergs Pool this summer.Credit:Flavio Brancaleone

“A simple tactic is to reduce our activity levels and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest times of the day,” he said.

It’s the same behavior koalas exhibit in hot weather, a spokesman for Taronga Zoo said, although staff there are taking extra measures.

“Koalas use their instincts and often limit their movement to stay cool and conserve energy,” the rep said. “But there are foggers that you can use all day if you need them. Zookeepers also wrap frozen water bottles in tea towels and tie them to trees for koalas to hug.”

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Avoiding hot drinks or spicy food in hot weather are myths, Smallcombe said, but that there are other evidence-based cooling strategies — similar to those used in koalas — including drinking cold liquids and slushies, dipping arms or feet in cold ones water and placing an ice pack or damp towel filled with crushed ice around the neck and moistening the skin.

“Wetting your skin with cool water using a sponge or spray bottle increases evaporation, which is the most effective cooling mechanism when it’s hot,” he said.

While most international guidelines suggest the optimal indoor temperature is between 22 and 24 degrees, Smallcombe says moving the air with an electric fan can make you feel just as comfortable as cooling the air.

“Fans can effectively keep us cool in temperatures as high as 40 degrees and use much less energy than air conditioners,” he said. “This tactic allows us to increase the setpoint of our thermostats by 3 to 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort.”

With Julie Power

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/from-sprays-to-cinemas-how-to-keep-cool-this-summer-20221229-p5c995.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw How to stay cool in the city this summer

Callan Tansill

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