Trying to find a way to beat the heat? Try these tips which range from eating salads to freezing your bedding.
1. Shut out the sun
Tempting as it may be to fling your curtains and windows open, this can be counter intuitive. Keeping your windows open during the daywill let warm air in, so wait until the evening when temperatures have cooled to throw them open. Keeping your curtains or blinds drawn during the day will also help stop the greenhouse effect.
2. Turn off appliances
Phone chargers, laptops, inefficient light bulbs and other appliances all contribute to the heat within the property. Turn off devices if you’re not using them and if you have old incandescent bulbs, change to modern LEDs which don’t get as hot and can reduce your electricity bill. A double win.
3. Reduce heat in the kitchen
Make the switch to salads and other cold meals instead of sweating over a hot oven - that then releases more heat into the home. If you do have pots and pans on the go, cover them with their lids to stop heat escaping into the room. Alternatively, keep the heat outside and enjoy a barbecue.
4. Put ice in front of fans
If a fan by itself is just blowing hot air around the room, a handy trick to get you feeling chilled is to put a bowl of ice in front of it. This forces the air through a cold spot as the ice evaporates and passes on a cool breeze to you. Make sure you're though. Water and electricity do not mix well, so make sure both the fan and ice are on a sturdy surface and far enough away from one another.
5. Reduce humidity
Steer clear of steamy showers and dishwashers, the moisture will only add to the unpleasant heat. Take a cooler shower or bath, which will help to reduce your body temperature naturally and do your washing up by hand to avoid adding to the humidity.
6. Change your bedding
Most of us will have chucked our duvets by the wayside a few weeks ago, but if you need the comfort of a cover, make sure you switch to a summer duvet with the lowest tog rating you can find.
You’ll also want to stick to cotton or linen bedding as man-made fabrics don’t absorb moisture well or conduct the heat away from your body.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, you can fill a hot water bottle and put it in the freezer for a bit before you go to sleep.
Similarly, you can put a pillowcase or bed sheet in a Ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer and take it out before you go to bed so that you get a long lasting ‘cold side of the pillow’ effect.
7. Hire air con
If a lowly fan isn’t cutting it and you don’t want to go all out on an expensive cooling system, you could try renting an air conditioning unit instead.
This small but powerful air conditioner could be yours for £58 per week, although take a look locally and you might be able to find a better deal.
8. Paint it white
It’s a fairly drastic action, but there’s a reason that homes in the Mediterranean are typically painted white – it helps reflect heat. An alternative to this would be to install light coloured blinds and curtains.
9. Make long term plans
You’ll have to plan in advance for future heatwaves with this one, but planting trees or vines can create shade around your windows and absorb some of the heat from a scorching sun.
Another long-term investment could be to improve your insulation so that your home keeps the heat in during winter but out during the summer.
You could even consider switching out heat-trapping carpets for cool hard floors, which can be warmed up in the winter with the addition of rugs.