As Sydney sweltered over the Labour Day holiday weekend, thoughts no doubt turned to what’s set to be a long hot summer. To make sure your home is at its best during the hotter months, remember these 10 summer property tips:

-¢ Investigate the right cooling option for your home. Air conditioning is sure to keep your house or apartment cool but greater electricity bills and environmental concerns can be a drawback. Also, some Sydney councils restrict the hours during which residents can use air conditioners, because of noise issues. It might be better to consider an electric fan, or even natural cooling options like ventilation or renovation to improve airflow.

-¢ As the mercury rises, remember that water restrictions continue to apply. If you haven’t already done so, consider a more water-efficient showerhead and other strategies to save water around the home. For some great water-saving ideas visit

-¢ Being water-wise also applies outdoors. A garden featuring less thirsty plants such as cacti can combine water efficiency with aesthetic effect. The Sydney Water website also has advice on how to save water in the garden.

-¢ A well-tended garden is also a great place to entertain guests, so look into the latest barbecues -“ from compact to king-size, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

-¢ If you have a day party outdoors, or whenever you are spending time outside, a pergola or a garden umbrella can shield you from the sun and add decorative detail.

-¢ For those who prefer a more natural look, carefully chosen trees and plants can bring shade a welcome touch of greenery.

-¢ If it’s time for a renovation, consider lighter tones for paintwork or wall decoration. They could be this summer’s hottest accessory.

-¢ Summer might mean being able to store the winter bedding for another year, but balmy nights can make sleeping difficult. Barring air conditioning or a move to cooler climes, consider moistening your sheets with a light spray of cold water.

-¢ If you do take advantage of the summer months to spend some time away from home, don’t forget household security. If you are going on holidays, ask neighbours or a friend to check the house from time to time and collect mail so it looks like someone is home. Cancel the newspaper subscription and install a burglar alarm for extra protection.

-¢ Neighbours aren’t just there to deter would-be burglars. A summer party is an ideal way to get acquainted with the people next door. And how better to surrender to a Sydney summer than with a relaxing barbecue or a few cocktails?

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