Top tips for cooling your home during a heat wave

Beat the heat with these simple tricks that will help keep your home cool as temperatures soar to 34C leaving Brits sweating

The UK has baked in above-average temperatures in recent days

Parts of the UK are currently enjoying the glory of hot summer days, with temperatures reaching 34C in the South East.

While this is a well-deserved respite from the driving wind and rain we received earlier this year, some of us are struggling to beat the heat. Especially those who work from home, without the comfort of an air-conditioned office space and cold water taps.

So, for sweaty Brits struggling to keep their cool, here’s what experts suggest you can do to keep yourself and your home cool during the extreme heat:

keep it closed

Keeping windows closed during the hottest hours of the day can actually help keep your home cool.


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While it’s tempting to open your curtains or blinds to let in some air, doing so when it’s hot outside can have the opposite effect and raise the temperature in your home.

It’s best to keep them closed throughout the day, so they can absorb the heat. In particular, blinds can reflect a significant amount of radiant heat back through windows.

At night, temperatures tend to drop, so fully opening windows and curtains in the evening will allow cool air to flow into the house.


Matthew Currington, Technical Director, The Lighting Superstore, said: “The bulbs give off heat, which isn’t particularly helpful during a heat wave. Conventional incandescent bulbs generate light quite inefficiently, giving up up to 90% of their energy as waste heat in the process.

If you’re able to switch to energy-saving bulbs, you’re more likely to limit overheating in your home and save money at the same time.

Turn off the technology

Electrical appliances emit heat, so turn off all appliances and gadgets that are not in use


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A surprising amount of heat is generated by appliances in the home, so avoid charging them overnight or turning appliances off to prevent internal heat gain.

“The best temperature in a bedroom for sleeping is between 15 and 19°C. If you turn off all the appliances and switches in the bedroom, they won’t be able to emit heat,” Currington explained.

“Electrical devices give off heat, so don’t be tempted to charge your phone near your home at night. Instead, keep it as far away from your bed as possible,” added sleep expert and psychologist Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan.

Build your own air conditioning

Most of us don’t have an air conditioning unit at home, so an electric fan is an obvious option to keep you cool. You can also try making your own air conditioner by placing a bowl full of ice water directly in front of a fan and turning it on.

As the ice melts, the fan breeze will capture cool air from the ice surface and create a cool breeze, like an air conditioning unit.

If you’re worried about using extra energy, Currington suggests putting a hot water bottle filled with water in the freezer for a few hours and using it to keep you cool. “Hide your ice pack in bed before you get in, or place it under your feet, to help regulate your temperature while you fall asleep,” he said.

Create a breathable bedroom

Cotton sheets are very good at absorbing moisture and sweat and can help you get a good night’s sleep.


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Cotton should be your bedding material of choice on warmer nights. More breathable than satin and silk, light-colored cotton sheets are probably the coolest upholstery you’ll find.

You might want to get naked, but a better option is to wear cotton or linen pajamas to help your skin breathe and absorb your sweat.

Stay one step ahead

McCarthy Stone retirement property experts advocate staying on top of the weather forecast to beat the heat. Stay ahead of the weather by checking the latest weather forecasts and temperature warnings.

“If you are caring for another person during a heat wave and are concerned about their well-being, you can be alert to any changes in behavior, especially excessive sleepiness. It could also include headaches, unusual tiredness, weakness, dizziness, disorientation or sleep problems,” the expert suggests.

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