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Last updated: 14 July 2021
We’re pretty good at winters in Britain: chunky duvets; carpets; central heating. But all that becomes a useless nuisance to us on those summer days where we get proper heat in the UK.
Installing air conditioning for those special four days a year isn’t a particularly viable enterprise, but good news – it’s not your only option! If you’re looking for ways to keep the house cool in a heatwave, we’ve got your back.
Ventilate to keep cool in a heatwave
Getting moving air into your home is a great way to keep the house cool, but make sure you’re doing it right. Our impulse is to fling the windows open, but you want to avoid getting hot air inside. If opened in summer, South-facing windows will allow hot air to enter, so you’re actually best off keeping them closed and instead drawing your blinds or curtains to keep the rays out. If you don’t have blinds or curtains, you could hang a sheet up. Glamorous? No. Resourceful? Absolutely.
If there is a cool breeze outside, let it flow in. You want to keep the cool air moving through your house to disperse the heat, so be sure to allow a through draft by opening windows or doors at opposite ends of your home.
Cooling down efficiently
Your freezer is running anyway, so why not increase its energy efficiency? Make sure you’ve got a constant rotation of ice cubes in there. Pop ice in bowls of water on the floor around your home, as if you have several extremely tidy dogs about. We say the floor because it’s important to remember that heat rises, so if you’re trying to circulate cold air you want it to start low down.
If you want to do this on a mega scale, you can put a tray of ice cubes in front of a fan and speed up the process. Or, you could put them in a bowl and gorge on them like a homogenous pick ‘n’ mix – whatever you fancy.
Can keeping my house cool save money on my energy bills?
You may not be aware, but turning appliances and lights off is another great way to keep your house cool. If appliances are left on standby, they emit heat energy because they’re not completely switched off. Not only is this also bad for the environment, but it actually costs you money! You’re still consuming energy, meaning you’re paying precious money to look at that blank TV screen whilst feeling sweaty.
A word of warning about fans, too: they are not energy efficient. We think of our homes as using much less energy in the summer, but if you ran your fan consistently it wouldn’t be a cheap energy bill that finds its way to you at the end of the season. If you do use a fan, be sure to have it floor-level, on a timer and with an ice tray below.
In addition, when we think of insulation, we associate it with keeping our houses warm, but did you know it can also help to keep your house cool? Home insulation can be a worthwhile investment. First, you’ll save money on your energy bills and cut your emissions. Secondly, some energy suppliers even subsidise the cost, either if your home could benefit or you’re eligible under a government scheme. We recommend you compare energy deals which offer subsidies and consider switching providers if you qualify.
How to keep cool at night during Summer
Most of us would agree that being too hot to sleep is a supremely uncomfortable experience. All we want to do is have a nice, uninterrupted dream before tomorrow’s horrible meeting. If the heat is impacting your sleep, then there are a few tricks you should have up your sleeve.
Create a cold water bottle. That’s right, winter’s best friend is getting a summer makeover. Pop your hot water bottle in the freezer and you’ll have a deliciously cool snuggle buddy. You should also switch to cotton sheets and ditch the thirteen-tog duvet and woolly blankets - they can hibernate for summer.
If things are getting dire – move your bed chambers downstairs if your home has the capability. Heat rises, remember? Therefore, it’s pretty likely the sofa will be cooler (plus it’s closer to the snacks).