14 ingenious ways to keep your home cool
Much as we might love the warmth of summer, it can be difficult to keep your rooms cool without expensive air-conditioning. Try our top tips to cool down your rooms – fast.
Cool down a room tip 1: Close curtains and windows
Tempting as it might be to throw windows open during a heatwave, leaving them shut when the day is hottest will keep the house cool. So try to only let the air in early, or late, in the day. Light coloured blinds and curtains made of a weightier fabric offer the best heat-blocking potential, and keep these closed during the day too.
Cool down a room tip 2: Keep your doors closed
Closing off unused rooms during the day will keep the house cool in summer by focusing your cooling efforts where you’ll feel them. Similarly, opening your doors in the evening will get the air flowing and stop your home feeling stuffy.
Cool down a room tip 3: Fix reflective window film
This is relatively low-cost, but super effective, tool for keeping your house cool in summer by keeping the sun’s rays at bay. It’s widely used in hotter climates, and it can reduce heat and glare by up to 99%.
Cool down a room tip 4: Improvise some air conditioning
Hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window cools the warm air as it enters your home. Or, to really cool down a room with a fan, place a deep dish of ice in the front of it to whip up the water mist and chill the breeze. You can also point a box fan out of an open window in the evenings – this pushes the hot air out instead of just blowing it around the room.
Cool down a room tip 5: Use extractor fans cleverly
Extractors don’t just get rid of smells and steam – during hot weather they can be put to double use. Open your internal doors and leave your bathroom and kitchen fans running a while to rid your home of some of the excess heat. Don’t forget to shut the doors when you switch the fan off!
Cool down a room tip 6: Switch up your lightbulbs
Old-style, incandescent light bulbs get hot. They’re also more expensive to run than their energy-efficient equivalents: a whole £7 more per year each. So by switching 10 bulbs, you’ll not only keep the house cool in summer – you could save yourself up to £70 annually.
Cool down a room tip 7: Create better night breezes
Get clever with positioning to cool down a room with a fan. Place it across from an open window so that the wind from outside, and that from the fan, meet and create a refreshing cross-breeze. Use multiple fans, and try out different placements, to find the perfect balance to cool down a room fast.
Cool down a room tip 8: Add some permanent shade
Trees can be a great way to keep a house cool in summer naturally. Planted on the sunny side of your property, they can provide some much-needed shade when the sun’s at its hottest. Awnings are another good option, and can be fully retractable, so you’d never know they were there when not in use.
Cool down a room tip 9: Paint your home cooler
Giving your exterior walls a lighter lick of painting will make your home much better at reflecting the heat. It’s worth considering lighter interior shades too - it might not cool down a hot room, but it’ll have you thinking cooler.
Cool down a room tip 10: Invest in sofa throws
Sick of sticking to leather sofas? Cool it down by putting a lightweight throw or sheet made of natural fibres over it. Breathable fabrics – like cotton and linen – will always keep you more comfortable when it’s warm.
Cool down a room tip 11: Take to a hammock
It’s all about airflow, and it’s much better in a hammock than on a mattress. String one up in the bedroom and give it a go for a change of scene, as well as a cool night’s sleep.
Cool down a room tip 12: Try a bamboo mat
Traditional, heavy mattresses are very effective at absorbing heat from your body and the surroundings. Perfect in winter, less so in summertime! So try switching to a bamboo mat when temperatures soar. They might not be as comfortable, but they won’t soak up the heat like your mattress will.
Cool down a room tip 13: Cool yourself down first
Wear loose, lightweight clothing made of natural fibres like cotton and linen. Use an ice-pack, chilled hot water bottle or cold cloth on your wrists and feet for an instant cold hit. And if it’s really stuffy inside, consider a dehumidifier. It’ll pull the moisture out of the air and let your skin breathe better.
Cool down a room tip 14: Eat your meals outside
Forget the oven and the heat it creates, and take advantage of warm summer evenings in the garden. Fire up the BBQ, or throw together a healthy summer salad.