woman cooling down with a fan on sofa at home

How to keep your house cool this summer

author: Sarah Beresford

By Sarah Beresford

We long for warm weather here in the UK but when it arrives it can make our homes feel uncomfortable. We’ve looked at 10 easy ways to cool down your house when the temperature outside rises.

These tips aren’t just designed to keep you feeling cool, they’re also designed to suit any budget - some of them don’t even cost a penny. We’ll show you how to keep your cool without having to buy expensive gadgets or air-conditioning.

1. Keep the hot air out

It’s obvious when you think about it - shutting hot air out will help to keep your house cool. The easiest way to do this is to close windows and blinds (or curtains) as the sun moves around the house. You can open your windows at night when the temperature has dropped, but if you really want them open during the day try to keep window coverings closed. Opening windows at opposite ends of the house will help to create a breeze.

2. Use fans to move the air around

Many of us already own a fan but if you don’t you’ll be able to find a good one for under £30. Low fans are best as you can direct them upwards and they’ll blow around the cooler air that’s found near the floor. To make them even more effective, place them in front of a shallow dish of ice cubes (a baking tray with sides to catch the melting ice works well). The air will cool as it flows over the ice and help to cool your room.

3. Ditch the roast dinners

Who wants to be slaving over a hot oven in the summer? Ovens give out an awful lot of heat so try switching to quick and easy stove-top meals or prepare cold food like summer salads. You could even cook outdoors on the barbecue. You’ll not only be keeping the house cool, but making the most of those balmy summer evenings.

4. Try a cold water bottle

Hot water bottles aren’t just for warming you up. If you fill them with cold water they can cool you down as well. Pop them in the freezer before you go to bed and they’ll help cool the bed down to help you get off to sleep. Be careful not to overfill them though because water expands when it freezes.

5. Use natural materials

Materials made from natural fibres will help you to stay cool as they’re breathable and allow air to circulate. When it comes to clothes and bedding, choose cotton and linens to help keep you cool.

6. Switch off appliances

Believe it or not when appliances are off or in standby mode they can still generate some heat. So switch plugs off at the socket when they’re not in use and try to avoid charging your phone overnight. If your phone must be charged overnight, place it away from your bed.

7. Have a lukewarm shower

We’re not suggesting jumping into an ice bath or taking an ice-cold shower, as this can actually shock your body and have the opposite effect as your body’s core then tries to warm itself up. Take a cool or lukewarm shower instead. You can do this at any time of the day when you’re feeling the heat, but just before bed is the perfect time to help you get to sleep.

8. Have a cuppa

It’s a common misconception that a long cold drink will cool you down - the effects are short-lived. Drinking hot drinks raises the body’s core temperature which leads to increased sweating, and sweating cools you down. Enjoy cold drinks and ice creams because they’re delicious but if you want to feel cool it’s best to put the kettle on.

9. Check your light bulbs

If you’ve not made the switch to low-energy light bulbs yet then now’s the time to do so. Not only will this save you money and help the environment, but low-energy light bulbs emit less heat than the old incandescent types. And remember to turn off lights when they’re not needed, use timers or put them on a smart system.

10. Add shade outside

Keeping your house cooler will be easier if you install some shade outside your windows. Planting some tall bushes or trees could be a long term fix. For a quicker fix if you’ve got awnings then open them up to keep the sun out, or put up a garden umbrella.

Check out the UK’s greenest energy suppliers.

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woman cooling down with a fan on sofa at home woman cooling down with a fan on sofa at home