We love the warmth of the summer, but it can be tough going when you can’t keep cool at home. The good news is that — with a few simple tricks — it is possible to stay comfortable, without expensive air conditioning.
Here are our top tips to help you beat the heat indoors, even on the hottest days of the year. And they’ll all save you money in the long run!
Put your curtains and windows to work
Tempting as it might be to throw windows open during a heatwave, leaving them shut when the day is hottest will actually help to keep temperatures down. So try to only let the air in early, or late, in the day. Light coloured blinds and curtains made of a weightier material offer the best heat-blocking potential. And keep those closed during the day too.
Use your doors!
Closing off unused rooms during the day will focus your cooling efforts where they’re needed. Likewise, opening your doors in the evening will get the air flowing and stop your home feeling stuffy.
Keep the sun’s rays at bay
Reflective window film is a relatively low-cost, but super effective, tool in keeping your house cool in the sun. It’s already widely used in hotter climates, and it can reduce heat and glare by up to 99%. That makes it one of the more effective ways of minimising summer temperatures!
Make your own air conditioner
This is as easy as hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window, to cool the warm air as it enters. Or, if you have a fan, place a deep dish of ice in 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, to push the hot air out instead of just blowing it around the room.
Get clever with extractor fans
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.
Cool yourself first
Wear loose, lightweight and natural fibre clothing when you need a break from the heat. 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.
Dine al fresco
Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of the warm summer evenings in the garden? Leave the kitchen oven off, to save the extra heat that it creates, and take to the BBQ. Or why not throw together a healthy summer salad instead?
Change your lightbulbs
Old-style, incandescent light bulbs get hot. And they cost a lot more money to run than their energy-efficient equivalents: a whole £7 a year compared with a regular bulb. So by switching ten of these, you’ll not only reduce the heat in your home when it matters most, you could save yourself up to £70 annually.
Get the paint brush out
It’s great to freshen-up once in a while. And giving your exterior walls a lighter lick of paint will make your home much better at reflecting the heat. But it’s worth thinking about a lighter interior shade too. It might not actually reduce the temperature, but it’ll have you thinking cooler.
Cool your sofa
Certain types of upholstery can be real heat absorbers. Breathable fabrics — like cotton and linen — will always keep you more comfortable when it’s warm, but you can cool your leather sofas too. Use a natural fibre, lightweight, throw or sheet over a chair or sofa when it’s hot, and you’ll find yourself sticking to it far less!
Take to a hammock
Not only is this totally novel, it’s all about better airflow when you’re trying to stay comfortable during summer nights. So hop into a hammock, for a change of scenery, as well as a cool night’s sleep.
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 the 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.
Create a better night breeze
Get clever with your fan positioning, to keep your bedroom cool at night. Place a fan across from an open window so that the wind from outside, and the wind from the fan, meet and create a refreshing cross-breeze. Use multiple fans, and try out different placements, to find the perfect balance.
Add some permanent shade
Not only do trees look great in a garden, if 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.