While the thought of summer is always an exciting prospect (with the longer days, warm weather, and glorious sunshine), when temperatures soar too high, it can often be hard to keep cool at home, especially at night. Many of us have spent countless hours lying awake on our beds, unable to sleep with sweat dripping from our brows. The days are often not much better, especially for those of us working from home. Those of us lucky enough to have domestic lifts in the UK are thankful that we can at least avoid the exertion of climbing the stairs. There are solutions and things that can be done to make things a little easier, however, especially for us Brits who tend not to have lovely air conditioning at home. So, to help you in your battle to keep your home cool during the summer, discover our top tips to utilise.
Block the heat from coming in
When the weather is warm, it gets hot enough indoors without the blazing hot sun shining in through the windows. So, taking steps to block the heat from coming in is an easy step to take. During those soring temperatures, especially if the sun hits your windows, keep the curtains and blinds closed to provide some relief. This tip is a simple one but effective, as Issy from the lifestyle and parenting blog A Suffolk Mum has learned in her own experience. Speaking to us, she shared:
“I have a couple of keeping cool tips that have worked well with my family. First is keeping the curtains closed during the day to block the sun out, keeping indoors much cooler than if the sun was shining in, heating up the rooms.”
If you have children at home, Issy recommends another fab tip for blocking the sun and creating a bit of shade, this time when in the garden: “Another shade trick is a sheet pegged up in the garden (the washing line is a good way to hold it up) to then create a shaded and cooler area for children to play.”
Speaking of outdoors, sometimes it can be handy to block the heat from entering by doing some work outside your home. Consider planting some plants or trees by your windows, preferably ones that will cast some shade over your home in the summer months and then will let light in during the winter.
Position a fan and ice combo by your bed
Having a well-positioned fan is certainly better than not having one, providing some quick relief from stuffy rooms, especially at night when we are desperately trying to drift off to sleep. However, a little desk or floor fan on its own isn’t going to make things completely better, as they often just pump the existing hot air around the room. So why not get a little creative and place a bowl of ice before the fan so that the fan directs a lovely cool breeze towards your face as you sleep.
Fans aren’t the most economic tools to use so making the most of them when they are on is definitely a good idea. OVO Energy advises the following to avoid using too much energy with no results: “Since heat rises, the coolest air in your house is going to be at floor level, so set your fan on the floor and point it upwards. Position it so that it points outwards towards the opposite wall, unobstructed by large objects.
“This will bounce the cooler air off the wall and back into the room, mixing with the warm air to help cool the temperature altogether. To speed up the process, place a bowl of icy water in front of the fan, so the air blows across it.”
Utilise breathable fabrics
We can do ourselves a lot of favours by wearing the right clothes and using the right bedding when it gets hot. Our advice is to wear light, loose-fitting clothes made up of breathable fabrics like cotton. Likewise, making sure your bedding is made of such materials will make things a little more bearable than if you were going for heavier garments or wanted to keep those silk sheets on your mattress. In the summer, it’s certainly comfort above all else, and when it’s hot, comfort means cool.
Turn that hot water bottle cold
The hot weather is certainly at its most frustrating at bedtime and many of us will be doing whatever we can to find some way of cooling down. Have you ever tried utilising a hot water bottle? They are lovely treats in the winter months when filled with boiling water but when filled with cold water in the summer and placed in the freezer, they can provide amazing relief from the heat.
This is another technique that Issy from A Suffolk Mum has found useful: “During heatwaves I have found a nice way to keep our beds cooler is putting hot water bottles filled with very cold water in them before we go to bed making the sheets nice and cold, at least to begin with.”
Hang a wet sheet by a window
Another tactic you can try in your mission to keep your home cool in the summer is to hang a wet sheet by the window. Normally, we want to be as far away as we can from wet sheets, but they can actually be an instrumental tool to keep a home cool. By hanging one up in front of a window, the room temperature will come down. When the outside air passes through, the wet sheet’s moisture will cool the air down as it passes into your home.
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Consider sleeping downstairs
Most of us will be aware that heat rises but as we all tend to sleep upstairs, we are not doing ourselves any favours. It might not be the most attractive proposition in the world but, if you can, consider moving downstairs to sleep and benefit from the slightly cooler conditions. If you have a spare room downstairs, that would be perfect. A fold-out bed in the living room would work or, for the really desperate, even the sofa might suddenly seem more appealing.
Get a house plant
Plants are not only nice to look at and good for the environment but did you know they can also help keep a home cool? Houseplants can be almost like natural air conditioners, adding moisture to the atmosphere and cooling it, and themselves, down. There are a number of plants you can consider to set up at home to give this a go, with House Beautiful recommending several, including the Ficus Benjamina:
“One of the few trees that grow well indoors, this leafy tree (which is also known as a weeping fig) helps to keep the air inside moist and cool, providing some much-needed relief from the heat for those spending time indoors.”
How to keep cool at home in the summer
- Block the heat from coming in
- Position a fan and ice combo by your bed
- Utilise breathable fabrics
- Turn that hot water bottle cold
- Hang a wet sheet by a window
- Consider sleeping downstairs
- Get a house plant
We hope the above tips have been helpful and will prove useful in your attempt to stay cool at home this summer. You will likely find that just one tactic won’t be enough but by utilising several approaches your combined efforts might make things a little more comfortable.
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