Keeping your house cool during a heat wave

So it seems those rumours about a heat wave were true. It probably won’t last all summer, but whilst it’s here how do you keep your home cool without air conditioning?


Here are some tips – some more effective than others – that you can utilise to make life just that little bit more comfortable when the mercury rises.


Open or shut?

There seems to be mixed views on whether you should open your windows in search of a breeze, or keep them closed (along with curtains and blinds) to keep the hot air out. When temperatures hit the late 20s and early 30s, it’s arguable that you could be letting in warmer air rather than cooler. This is possibly true with older properties that tend to stay much cooler than modern properties.


Perhaps a compromise is the best solution. Maybe keeping the curtains drawn and the windows shut in rooms that are bathed in sunshine, whilst opening others in rooms that aren’t would work best. Another solution is to keep them shut during the hottest part of the day and open them later, once the temperature has dropped a few degrees.


Another school of thought is to open both upstairs and downstairs windows to enable air to circulate through the house. And if you have sash windows, to open both the top and bottom to allow cooler air to be drawn in through the bottom as warmer air exits at the top.


To fan or not to fan?

Whilst manually fanning yourself can result in making you hotter, electrical fans can provide some much-needed relief. To avoid just circulating the hot in your room, place the fan near an open window so that it draws in air from outside, which will hopefully be cooler.


Desperately seeking the cool spot

Depending on the positioning of your house in relation to the sun, some rooms can be marginally cooler than others even in a heat wave. Not all homes are blessed with a basement, but if you have one it’s likely to be 10-15 degrees cooler than the rest of your home.


Failing that, decamp to the coolest room you can find or head to the bathroom and cool off in the shower. Experts suggest a warm shower as opposed to an ice cold one will be more effective at cooling you down. Also reducing your shower time will reduce the amount of heat and humidity generated too.


Turn down the heat

Apparently household appliances give off heat even when standing idle, so it makes sense to unplug the ones that you’re not using. The same goes for lights. If you’re not using them turn them off to help reduce the heat and save money on your energy bills.


The oven and hob are obvious culprits for generating heat. If the extreme temperature hasn’t completely suppressed your appetite, opt for something cold that doesn’t require cooking or heating up. Or if you have a BBQ, take the cooking outside.


And finally if you can’t stand the heat, hiring an air conditioning unit will give you a cool environment to ride out the heat wave.