Living in the UK, installing air-conditioning into our homes is an unnecessary expense, given that it is not needed for 75% of the year. Therefore, here are our top 5 alternative ways of keeping your home, and yourself cool during the hot weather.
1. Use blinds & shutters
Shimmering sunlight shining through into your living room can be very appealing on a hot summer day, and therefore it’s more than tempting to leave curtains open during hot days to let this light in. Unfortunately, however, this can also result in extra heat entering your home and can leave rooms feeling humid and stuffy. Lightly coloured blinds and shutters help to reflect the sun’s rays back outside, so try to leave them closed during the peak hours of sunlight, and re-opened later on, perhaps when you return home from work, to make the most of the natural evening light.
2. Open windows during the night
Similarly, as with open curtains, open windows during the peak of the sunny weather will invite the heat indoors and leave you feeling hot under the collar. If the room you are in is cooler than the temperature outside, then leave the windows shut to keep that hot air out. On evenings and at night, when the outside temperatures have decreased, open windows and let the cool air in. The soft inward breeze will also help you to get a better night’s sleep too.
3. Cook less
Summer is naturally a time to eat less hot, rich food and to opt for lighter salads, raw crudités and fruit platters. This should mean that less time is spent constantly turning on the oven, which generates excess heat in the kitchen and into the rest of the house. If you want to cook a hot meal, then head outside and fire up the BBQ to feast on grilled chicken, flavoursome fish and chargrilled vegetables. Remember to keep windows and French doors closed when the BBQ is fired up to avoid the heat and smoke entering inside.
4. Choose you mattress & bed linen wisely
If there’s one place in your home that you need to keep cool, it’s your bedroom. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed in the early hours, tossing and turning because you are too warm and therefore can’t find a comfy sleeping position.
Certain mattress types are known to be best at keeping the body cooler during sleep, such as those with an inner spring system or those made from natural latex, which offers a breathable option in order to keep you cool. The Slumberlandcollection offers comfort in the form of foam and spring mattresses which guarantee to help regulate body temperature.
Memory foam mattresses are a good option for people who suffer with back trouble, however in hot weather they can form a heat trap as they mould around your body. Dormeo Octaspring mattresses provide the comfort of a memory foam, but without the extra heat buildup so you don’t have to sacrifice any comfort. Eight times more breathable than traditional memory foam this type of mattress has its own ventilation system, pushing out humid air down the specially designed sides.
Lightly coloured bed sheets, and those made from 100% cotton (ideally Egyptian, lightweight cotton) are the best for achieving maximum ventilation in bed, so invest wisely. Avoid silk or man-made fibres such as polyester during the summer months as these options allow for very little ventilation.
5. Turn off the lights
As well as saving money on your energy bills and doing your bit to reduce your carbon footprint, turning off the lights in your home can help to keep rooms cooler. Even low emission light bulbs give off a degree of heat, therefore, opt for smaller bedside lamps before bed, instead of the main bedroom light, and use natural lighting or candle-light where possible.