On a bright and sunny day, it’s great to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather.
However, while passing clouds and a cooling breeze can provide relief from soaring temperatures outside the home, inside, the heat can cause problems.
This is because here in the UK, houses are built with the cooler weather that we more frequently experience in mind.
Consequently, when a heat wave strikes, our homes are not equipped to deal with such high temperatures and can quickly become uncomfortable.
But, while you may find yourself wishing for air conditioning during these sunny spells, there are alternative ways to create a cooler environment. Below, we’ve listed our top tips to help you keep your home cool this summer:
Only Open your Windows at Night
During a heat wave, opening a window is one of the first things people to do to try and cool down. However, this can often have the opposite effect by letting hot air in and enabling cooler air to escape, serving to increase the temperature of your home even more.
This is particularly true of south-facing windows, which always experience high levels of sunlight due to their direct positioning.
As such, it is best to resist the temptation of flinging open your windows during the day and instead, wait until the evening/night time when the sun has gone down and the temperature is cooler to open them.
However, if you find yourself gasping for a bit of fresh air and cannot wait until evening, be sure to only open certain windows that will encourage a breeze to blow through.
For instance, try and open windows on opposite sides of the house and keep all of your doors open to enable fresh air to flow through freely.
Close Your Blinds or Curtains
Up to 30% of the heat in our homes is caused by sunlight streaming through our windows. As such, although it’s lovely to see the sunshine, keeping your blinds or curtains closed will help reduce the amount of sunlight entering, thus creating a cooler environment.
Additionally, if you have dark window coverings in your home, these will absorb any incoming heat rather than reflect it. This is especially the case with darkly coloured skylight blinds for Velux windows as this style of window enables direct sunlight to pour in.
Consequently, to make the action of closing your blinds or curtains even more effective, invest in window coverings that are either lightly-coloured or translucent to reduce the temperature of your home even more.
Switch Off Home Appliances
Although we may not realise it, many of the general appliances that we regularly use within our homes pump out large amounts of additional heat.
Extension plugs, fridges and light bulbs are just some of the most likely items to be generating excess warmth. As such, turning them off when they’re not in use will not only serve to cool down your home but will also save you money on your electricity bill overall.
If you do have to keep certain things on like lights, exchange any incandescent bulbs for LED lighting. Not only do LED bulbs generate less heat but they can also largely reduce electricity costs as the result of being more energy efficient.
Change Your Bedding
Getting a good night’s sleep in hot weather can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to sleep under winter bedding.
To save yourself tossing and turning, switch those thick winter duvets and blankets for light cotton bedding, as this is a far more breathable material that will enable more air to reach you while sleeping.
Additionally, consider purchasing some buckwheat pillows as unlike traditional feather pillows, they absorb less body heat as a result of the natural gaps between the buckwheat hulls inside them.
Hobs, grills and ovens create huge amounts of additional heat, causing the temperature in kitchens to soar. Paired with a hot and sticky summer’s day, this makes for an incredibly uncomfortable environment.
So, instead of cooking indoors during the summer months, make the most of the warm weather by cooking outside! Summer is the perfect time for BBQs, salads and fresh fruits, all of which can be enjoyed outdoors in the open air.
If you do have to retreat to the kitchen to use the oven, try and do this either early in the morning or well into the evening to avoid cooking during the midday heat. Alternatively, use the microwave or grill to cook certain dishes.
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