7 Cheap & Easy Ways For Keeping Cool This Summer
If you don't have £300 to spend on a portable air con unit, use the Home Heating Shops Keeping Cool hacks.
As we only have short summers it's really not worth spending money on awnings, planting trees to shield windows from the sun etc...These tips will help to keep you cooler, save money and make the (much hoped for) heatwave more bearable.
1. Keep your blinds or curtains closed:
30% of unwanted heat comes in as radiated heat through your window glass, once in it stays trapped inside and raises the temperature. Think about going into a greenhouse in summer, that's the effect uncovered windows have on your room.
2. Get that cheap fan:
A 16 inch pedestal fan like our recommended VonHaus one featured here can cost as little as £20. Buy a bag of ice ( £1 for a 2 kilo bag from Iceland) put some in a bowl and tilt it towards the fan so the air flow passes over it, (stay safe, make sure the fan cannot fall into the bowl).
If you want cool dry air instead of wet misty air leave the ice sealed in the bag and put that in the bowl, for even better results use a metal bowl. This will also work with ice packs.
If you feel stifled try putting the fan in front of an open window and aim it outwards, this will pull the hot air out of the room and create an airflow, remember to open the room door as well.
3. Turn off the electrics and skip the stove:
Most electronic goods we have, TVs, computers, telephones, music systems etc, all work on a low DC voltage, we plug them into the mains and a transformer steps the power down from 240 Ac, all these transformers generate heat even when the appliance is on standby.
If you've still got the old style incandescent lightbulbs keep them off, over 90% their energy is heat and just one bulb left on can raise a rooms temperature by a few degrees. If you can do without it, turn that computer off too!
Keeping cool means staying away from the stove, for cooking hot meals use the barbecue, summer days are great for outdoor cooking. Cooking inside will just heat up the house. See our selection of recommended BBQ's here.
If you are going to cook hot meals then BBQs are the way to go
4. Let air flow naturally through your home:
In the evening as the air outside starts to cool, if you have loft windows open them, or open the highest ones on the upper floors and open the lowest ones slightly
The warm air will flow out through the upper windows pulling in colder air through the house. In some of the worlds hottest countries houses are built with holes in the roof allowing the hot air to escape and drawing in cooler air through the lower floors, not only does it cool down your space, you get a nice mild breeze wafting through.
Remember to open the room doors to let the air flow through the house.
5. Create a cooler sleeping environment:
- Warning: Leaving bedroom windows wide open at night can encourage uninvited guests to pop in, so don't
- If you have night vents or security latches that lock your windows part open then use them.
- Get some cotton sheets (much cooler to sleep on). Damp down your sheets with a mist bottle (use one of those empty spray bottles you got cleaning stuff or febreze in, wash it out and fill it with water).
- As an alternative put your sheets in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer for 10 minutes before spreading them on the bed.
- Make a cold water bottle, fill it with cold tap water and leave it the freezer for half an hour before putting it at the foot of your bed. Treat yourself to a Chillow.
- Need to cool off on a really hot night? Fill a sock with rice, tie it off, and stick it in the freezer for an hour or so. Put that on your pillow, It will stay cold for about half an hour.
- Sleep alone if you can, cuddling up to a partner may keep you warm in winter but it makes you unbearably hot in summer. Try sleeping spreadeagled so your legs and arms are splayed out and not touching.
- Keep a bowl of cool water beside the bed, if you're overheating and cant sleep soak your feet in it for a few minutes.
6. Manage your body temperature:
- Where light clothing around the house, shorts and tee shirts, expose as much skin as you can to allow your sweat to evaporate, bikinis and speedos anyone?
- Make up a peppermint body spray. Peppermint oil mixed in distilled water can be spritzed on the skin giving a lovely cooling effect.
- Keep your feet cool, keep a bowl of cold water handy and when you feel too hot give your feet a cold soak, this will make your whole body feel cool.
- Drink cool drinks with plenty of ice and eat cold dishes such as salads, cold cuts & kish. Keep meals small and light, the heavier the meal the more your body heats up as it metabolizes it.
Light bites, salads & fruit are ideal summer food
Cold showers, a great way to cool down
- Take cold showers during the day, this reduces your core temperature
- Put some damp towels in the fridge and use as cold compresses to cool your neck and wrists and temples, the places with strong blood flows close to the skin (pulse points).
7. Free DIY air conditioning hack:
Here is a really easy free DIY air conditioning hack to try.
Hang a wet sheet in front of an open window, the breeze blowing through will lose heat to the water and cool down the whole room.
No breeze? Then point a fan at the room door so it draws air in through the window.