Summer in the UK can often catch you off guard, and can actually be really quite hot. Sometimes peaking at 30 degrees at night, it can be tempting to start your research into air conditioning units. Though air conditioning is effective, it is not energy efficient and can be an expensive investment especially when the British summertime is fairly unpredictable. Here are a few of the best ways to cool down your home in those hot summer months that don’t require installing an expensive air con unit that you’ll only use a few times a year.
Seemingly obvious, however there are many people that don't block out the sun during the summer. Although streaming light through the window brightens your room, if you're looking to cool your house down the first step is to shut your blinds. By closing your blinds, you're keeping direct sunlight out of your home and therefore preventing unwanted heat. Blackout curtains are another great way to keep out the heat and keep your room dark during the months when the sun comes up very early.
If you're struggling with keeping the temperature low in your house, consider buying a small fan to circulate the air inside. If you already have one, try leaving a bowl of ice in front of the fan, which will create a lovely cool air (makeshift AC). Another trick is to position the fan towards the windows, to push out the warm air inside. You can also position your fans in front of the window in the evenings, to draw in the cooler air.
It’s hot outside, so surely opening the windows will encourage more heat inside? Well, there are a number of ways you can do so effectively and prevent unwanted heat inside. Open your doors and windows early in the morning and in the late afternoon, and keep them closed during the middle of the day (the hottest). This will encourage a fresh cool breeze to flow throughout your home. If you're worried about insects finding their way inside, try putting up a net or light curtain to keep them outside. This way, you can also leave your windows open at night time.
You can also take advantage of cross-breezes within your home, opening windows and doors at opposite ends of the house which can create a strong draft and help circulate the air in your home.
House plants bring moisture into stuffy rooms, so there is no better time to stock up on them than summer. As well as adding a splash of green to your house, house plants can be a saviour in a heatwave. The best plants are peace lilies and rubber plants.
Cooking inside using your stove top and oven will add unnecessary heat inside your house. Try grilling your meals outside on a BBQ, which wont only taste delicious but will also save you trying to cool down your house. If you don't have a BBQ, you could use a slow cooker which won’t heat up the kitchen like the stove or oven would, or try making cooler foods throughout the hottest part of the day. Eating colder foods wont only just cool your house down, but they will also cool you down. Check out some cold summer recipes here.
There’s nothing worse than sweating buckets over night during the muggy, British summer. Try investing in some light, breathable bedding, which will help regulate temperature and keep you cool. If you're wondering which materials work best, look out for cotton, silk and linen sheets.