In the United Kingdom, our weather is famously unpredictable. After enduring weeks of gloomy winter conditions, we often find ourselves suddenly facing a delightful heatwave.
However, as much as we enjoy basking in the sunshine, us Brits are not particularly well-prepared for hot weather. The majority of our homes are designed to provide warmth rather than coolness.
Therefore, we have come up with some helpful tips to assist you in staying cool this summer, ranging from quickly cooling down your room to sleeping comfortably during a heatwave.
Efficient Ways to Cool Down a Room without Air Conditioning: 8 Tips for Rapid Cooling
Keep the windows closed and draw the curtains
Although it may be tempting to open the windows as soon as the temperature rises, doing so can backfire. To maintain a cool house, it is crucial to keep the hot air outside. This entails keeping the windows closed during the day, especially if they face south. Additionally, keep the blinds and curtains drawn. Once the temperature drops at night, you can open the windows and allow fresh air to circulate.
Create a cross-breeze throughout the house
While we recommend keeping the windows closed as much as possible, we understand the desire for a refreshing breeze during hot weather. If you need to open the windows, do so strategically to create a flow of air throughout the house. Open windows on opposite sides of the house or room, and keep the doors open to allow air movement. You can also position a fan to face an open window, helping to push hot air outside. If feasible, keep the curtains and blinds closed or partially closed to deflect direct sunlight. For sash windows, ensure that both the top and bottom are open in equal amounts, as this allows cool air to enter through the lower opening and warm air to exit through the top, according to Victorian theory.
Place bowls of water around the house
Although it may seem peculiar, placing bowls of water around the house can aid in cooling the hot air. This simple technique can be surprisingly effective.
Switch to energy-efficient LEDs when replacing lightbulbs
Did you know that traditional incandescent light bulbs are highly inefficient, with up to 90% of their energy being emitted as heat? On the other hand, energy-saving light bulbs convert 90% of the energy into light. When your old bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with low-energy options. These bulbs generate less heat and consume less energy.
Tips for Keeping Your House Cool in the Summer
Invest in a fan and use it wisely
Electric fans can be a lifesaver during the summer months. However, since they consume energy, it’s important to use them efficiently. Heat rises, so the coolest air in your house will be near the floor. If you have a fan, place it on the floor and direct it upwards. Position it to blow air towards the opposite wall, ensuring no large objects obstruct the airflow. This will cause cooler air to bounce off the wall and circulate back into the room, mixing with the warm air and helping to lower the temperature. If your fan has a timer, it’s a great way to ensure it operates only when necessary, saving energy.
Consider using an ice fan
If you need to cool down quickly, try placing a bowl of ice and cold water in front of your fan’s blades. This will cause the air blowing from the fan to pass over the icy water, creating a refreshing sensation on your skin. It’s like having a homemade, DIY air-conditioner!
Tips for Sleeping in the Heat
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, especially during hot summer nights. We’ve all experienced restless tossing and turning, which is far from ideal. Here are two ways to keep your bedroom and yourself cool during the summer.
Take a cold shower before bedtime
Sometimes, tricking your body into feeling cooler is the best way to combat the heat. Taking a quick cold shower just before going to bed can help achieve this. Be cautious not to make the water too cold, and avoid doing this immediately after being exposed to intense heat, as rapid changes in body temperature can be unhealthy.
Transform your hot water bottle into an ice pack
Believe it or not, a hot water bottle can also be used to cool down. Fill it with water and place it in the freezer a few hours before bedtime. Once frozen, it will emit coldness in the same way it releases heat when filled with hot water. Put the ice pack in your bed before getting in or position it under your feet to help regulate your body temperature as you drift off to sleep.
Bigger Investments for Keeping Rooms Cool
If you are considering taking more substantial steps to keep your home cool, here are some things to consider.
Energy-efficient windows have the advantage of keeping the heat inside your home during the winter and effectively blocking the sun’s heat during the summer. If you are thinking about replacing your windows, check out our comprehensive guide to energy-efficient windows and doors.
Awnings and shutters
Installing awnings or shutters can provide maximum shade and protection from the sun’s rays. These additions are an excellent way to stay cool without relying on electricity.
While most people associate insulation with retaining heat during cold weather, it is equally effective at keeping heat out. If possible, consider investing in insulation for your walls. Take a look at our guides on roof and loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, and solid wall insulation for more information.
By following these tips and making informed investments, you can effectively keep your house cool and comfortable during the summer months. Stay cool and enjoy the warm weather!