This summer we have seen the highest ever temperatures in the UK – and, according to the experts, there are more to come.
There has been much discussion about how we should be designing and building properties to keep the heat out but, in the meantime, how can we be keeping our cool?
Here are our top tips for keeping cool at home:
It seems counter-intuitive, but in really hot weather it can be beneficial to close windows to keep the hotter air out and the cooler air in during the day. At night-time, when the air is cooler outside than in, this is the time to let the fresh air in. At that time, try to open windows on opposite sides of a room or space (keeping any doors between open) to create a through-flow of air.
*Blinds and curtains
Similarly, keeping blinds and curtains closed can keep rooms cooler. This is especially important on any side of your house or apartment that receives direct sunlight.
Hot air rises and so opening loft hatches in houses can help the warmth to escape upwards, especially at night if you are opening windows to let cooler air in.
It seems obvious, but check your heating isn’t on a timer and still coming on even though it shouldn’t be!
Replace any lightbulbs with LED lights. These not only use much less energy, but they are also cooler in hot weather.
These generate heat to varying degrees when operating or charging, so make sure everything that you don’t have to use is switched off.
Kettles, toasters and ovens will make the kitchen in your home hotter than ever when in use, so why not consider cooking out in the garden or on the balcony if you have one? Use a barbecue or even a camping stove. Alternatively, don’t cook at all! Eat lots of hydrating salad and raw fruit and vegetables instead!
*Outside the home
Try shading windows on the outside – awnings, plants and even propped up panels positioned outside windows can prevent the sun from streaming in.
Using fans can be helpful but try not to simply circulate the hot air. Position the fan on the floor where the air is coolest. Also try putting a bowl of water with ice in it in front of the fan. As the ice melts the cold vapour will then also be circulated. Likewise, just placing bowls of icy water around the room can help cool the air.
*Keep yourself cool
Dress lightly, wear open toed shoes or keep your feet bare if safe to do so in the house. Cool your face and the back of your neck regularly with a flannel, dipped in a bowl of water that you have kept in the fridge. Have a cold bath or shower, instead of hot one and sit with your feet in a bowl of cold water at other times. Fill a hot water bottle with cold water, put it in the fridge for a while and then enjoy it as a cold cushion!