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How to keep your apartment cool in Austria this summer

The Local Austria
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How to keep your apartment cool in Austria this summer
Summers are becoming hotter in Europe. Photo: Pixabay

Austria is considered a cold country, and Austrian homes are traditionally made to keep the heat inside during the long cold winters - but hotter summers have started to make living in Austria more difficult.


The number of heat days in Austria - with temperatures soaring above 30C - is on the rise, and many homes in the Alpine country are not designed for such hot summer weather. Instead, they were made to keep the heat inside during the long and cold winter months. 

Additionally, air conditioning systems are still not very common in apartments, and many house owners are still averse to the idea of installing an ac system. So, how can you keep your apartment or house cool in Austria this summer as temperatures rise?

Here are a few tips.

Use a fan

An electrical fan is an excellent way to keep your apartment cool without breaking the bank. While it may not cool the air down as much as an air conditioning system, it is significantly cheaper to run. 

According to Der Standard, a fan uses 95 percent less energy than a mobile AC unit, with an average cost of just €7 per summer (based on 60 days of use). In contrast, a portable air conditioning unit could cost €170 in additional electricity costs.

Ceiling fans are particularly effective, as they can help to circulate air throughout your apartment.

READ ALSO: How to avoid getting heat exhaustion in Austria’s scorching weather


Close blinds and curtains

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cool down your apartment is to keep all blinds and curtains closed during the day to keep out the heat. 

In Vienna, government subsidies are available to purchase external blinds and shutters for an apartment. However, permission from a landlord is required for rental properties.

An alternative is using se light-coloured or reflective window coverings to reflect heat away from your apartment. Window films or shades that are reflective on the outside can help to keep your apartment cool, especially if you live in a hot and sunny climate.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat


Close your windows

Keep windows closed during the hottest part of the day and open them at night to let cool air in. This will help keep your apartment cool and comfortable without relying on air conditioning. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier to help remove excess moisture from the air.

Hang up your wet laundry

Did you know you can cool down your apartment by hanging up wet laundry to dry? As the clothes dry, evaporation removes heat from the air, cooling the room. Plus, it saves more money on energy bills by not using a tumble dryer (which can actually warm up your apartment even more).


Wear clothing made from natural fibres

Wearing natural fibres is one of the best ways to stay cool in hot weather. This means wearing clothing made from cotton, linen, silk, bamboo, lyocell, or merino wool. Bamboo and lyocell are also sustainable crops, so buying clothes made from these fibres is better for the environment, too (as long as it’s from FSC-certified wood).

Keep hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial during hot weather. Always drink plenty of water during hot weather - even when inside an apartment - as this will help to keep your body temperature down. Additionally, try to eat a light diet during times of high temperatures, such as salads and vegetables.

READ ALSO: ‘Hitzefrei’: When is it too hot to work in Austria?

Use a damp cloth

If you find it challenging to sleep due to the heat, try using a cool damp cloth to cool your neck. It won’t have the same effect as crisp air conditioning, but it will help to cool you down.


Try to avoid heating up your apartment

Avoid using the oven or stove during the day, as they can generate much heat. Instead, try to cook meals in the early morning or late evening. If you must use the oven, try to use it for multiple dishes at once to reduce the amount of time it's on.

Similarly, using devices such as hair dryers or clothes dryers can also increase your home's indoor temperature, so it's best to avoid them.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs, which generate less heat than traditional bulbs. This small change can make a big difference in keeping your apartment cool. LED bulbs are a great choice, as they use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs.

READ ALSO: How to stay cool in Austria as the heatwave hits


Resorting to an airconditioning system

If there is no other option than air conditioning, try to use it sparingly. For example, just for a few hours at night. Mobile air conditioning units are the most expensive, with approximately 8kWh of electricity consumed during an eight-hour period. However, these are easy to source at hardware stores and are simple to install. 

Split units (with indoor and outdoor compartments) are cheaper to run but need to be installed by a specialist and usually require permission from a landlord. These devices use around 40 to 50 percent less energy than a mobile unit.


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