The UK is famously underprepared when it comes to hot weather, and another heatwave is with us this week. Being sweaty and sticky during a sweltering heatwave is nobody’s idea of fun, and it is particularly worse when it is in your own home. In order to make sure that you’re prepared, the team at interiors specialist www.Hillarys.co.uk have put some tips together how to keep your house cool this week:
Keep windows shut
Whilst it might be tempting to leave windows open during a heatwave, this might actually cause your house to become warmer. The general rule of thumb is if the temperature outside is greater than it is inside (i.e. during the day) then you should keep the windows shut, as you are just letting hot air in otherwise. Following that same rule, once day turns into evening you can crack the windows open, allowing cooler air into the house. If you must open windows during the day, then open them at opposite sides of the house, as this will cause a cool draught to flow through the house.
Try to not use electric appliances during a heatwave
Although it might not seem as if it will make much of a difference, using and leaving electrical appliances on during a hot spell can really raise the heat of your home. Things like computers and charges give off heat and create excess light, which is certainly not going to help during a heatwave. Similarly, try to avoid using a hair dryer – they can blast anything up to 180 degrees, adding to general heat. Likewise, if you must take a shower, choosing to have it at a cooler temperature allows less heat to travel around the house.
Keep lights off
Like electrical appliances, bulbs can generate a lot of unnecessary heat, adding to the heat already in the house. Switch off all lighting appliances – including anything that emits light – where possible, otherwise you could be adding extra heat, which you don’t want when you’re already sweating.
Use thermal and blackout blinds
When it comes to a heatwave, thermal and blackout blinds are your best options, but any window furnishings will help, as long as you utilise them correctly; don’t solely put your blinds down when you sleep. Whilst it’s nice to have some form of natural light coming into the house during the day, but that’s a sure-fire way to heat up your home. Keep those blinds shut during the day and you’ll stop the sun from turning hour home into a greenhouse. If you have your windows open at night, opening your blinds or curtains slightly will allow a draught to flow through.
Put ice in front of fans
Fans may feel nice on your face, but they actually just circulate the air that goes around the room; it doesn’t necessarily cool you down. If you do feel the need to use the fan, there is a handy trick on how to keep your house cool whereby you place a bowl – or bottle – of ice in front of the fan, and the air that blows is a lot cooler.
Change your sheets
If you’re finding it hard to sleep at night because of the heat, change your sheets to cotton ones ASAP, as cotton sheets make it easier for your skin to breathe. Another trick when you are changing your sheets – if you have time – is to place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, as they it will feel cool when you slip into bed.
Change your ceiling fan to anticlockwise
If you have a ceiling fan, changing the direction to anticlockwise will let air blow straight down into the room, therefore allowing a cooler breeze to flow through. During the winter however, you want your fan to be clockwise and at a lower speed, as this will keep the heat within the house.
Avoid using the oven
Swap dishes such as spaghetti bolognaise for cooler foods, like summer salads. The hob, the oven and the grill are not going to contribute to keeping the temperature of your house down. The extra heat from these appliances will travel through the rest of the house, adding to the warmth coming from outside. If you do use the oven, then ensure that it’s on for as little time as possible, and ensure you shut the door after use.
Commenting on the tips on how to keep your house cool, Lucy Askew, spokesperson for www.Hillarys.co.uk, said:
“Us Britons love to moan when the weather is cold or we get a bit of rain, but we are equally incapable of dealing with hot weather. It’s really important to try and keep the temperature of your home down during these periods, as it can be incredibly uncomfortable to sit in your own house when it’s extremely hot, and it should be a place to escape the heat, rather than experience it.”