How to cool down your home in a heatwave

cool your home down

Check the weather forecast and you’ll see there’s yet another scorcher coming up this weekend. Experts think these heatwaves are going to be a regular thing, but there are ways to cool down your home. Here are 7 of them, so get ready to chill.

Are ‘cool down your home’ hacks much-needed in your house? Well, relax: we’ve got lots of tips and tricks so you won’t need to swelter in the current heatwave. But this isn’t just a one-time feature: climate change experts say it’s going to become a regular thing. So bookmark this page and come back to it each heatwave.

The usual way to cool down your home doesn’t work especially well. Research by glass and glazing specialists Pilkington UK found that 56% of Brits resort to keeping their windows open all the time to try and stay cool during a heatwave. But the problem with this is that it’s hotter inside than it is indoors! So you’re just letting in more hot air and making your house even warmer.

Don’t worry though: opening windows isn’t one of our ways to cool down your home – quite the opposite. So here’s all our best advice…

Close your windows and keep them covered

Firstly: as we said before, it’ll be warmer outdoors than indoors. So keeping your windows shut will help cool down your home. A little light will still escape from the edges of curtains and blinds, so you won’t be sitting in the dark. Around 76% of the sunshine that comes in through your windows is converted to heat, so keeping your windows closed and covered is an excellent heat-aversion strategy.

closing shutters is a way to cool down your home
Keep your shutters, blinds or curtains closed to cool down your home. Photography: iStock.
Install solar control glazing

Secondly: solar control glass can provide excellent protection from heat gain. So: the Pilkington Suncool range offers solar control glass products with various degrees of solar control and light transmittance. Their 70/35 product will definitely help cool down your home. Choose larger windows, feature windows, bi-fold doors or new skylights because these will all allow additional light into the home.

A living room featuring Pilkington Suncool solar control glass.
Keep your doors closed and insulate them

Thirdly: if you’re spending time in a particular room, keep the door closed so your room stays cooler.

In addition, do your doors have sizeable gaps underneath? Then think about insulating them with weather sealing tape (it’s so easy, you can do it yourself). This will prevent hot air from seeping in under the door.

keeping the door closed is a way to cool down your home
Whether you’re chilling in your bedroom or working in your study, keep the door closed. Photography: iStock.
Steer clear of using the oven and hob

Then we come to kitchen appliances. And put simply, the oven and hob create heat – even the microwave does, though this is probably the best option of the three. But why not steer clear of all of them and eat a salad instead? Surely the last thing you want on a scorching day is a hot meal (but maybe that’s just us?). Because the fact is, the hotter the appliance, the hotter your room will be – and you don’t want it to be 200°C.

an open oven
Avoid using the oven during a heatwave. Photography: iStock.
… and change your light bulbs

The oven isn’t the only thing you need to avoid during a heatwave. Light bulbs also bring in heat, though you’re forgiven for not realising. You need to avoid incandescent light bulbs, as they emit the most heat and waste 90% of the energy they use. Change your bulbs to LEDs to cool down your home. In addition, LEDs are energy-efficient so will reduce your electricity output – a saving we all need right now.

changing your light bulbs is a way to cool down your home
They may look cooler, but incandescent Edison light bulbs like these will only make you hotter. Photography: iStock.
Use a fan correctly

If you haven’t got a fan by now, then you definitely need one to cool down your home. But most people don’t use theirs correctly. The trick is to work out the coolest part of your house, then point your fan at the warmest part. The idea is that this sucks in the cool air and pushes the hot air out. But if you still need another hack, put a huge bowl of ice in front of your fan at a jaunty angle. This should blast the freezing air from the ice into the room – brrrr!

a desk fan with office decor
Be sure to use your fan correctly (the plants, however, are optional). Photography: iStock.
Use a dehumidifier

OK, so a dehumidifier won’t change the temperature indoors. However, it’ll help you cope with it better. This is because it controls the muggy air and makes the heat more pleasant. You see, humidity lowers the speed at which our sweat evaporates, so we feel warmer and less comfortable when it’s humid. So a humidifier is definitely worth investing in.

using a dehumidifier is a way to cool down your home
Devola 20L Compressor Wi-Fi Dehumidifier with HEPA Filter – DV20QHWF, Quiet Mark.

Sources: Pilkington UK, Avail.co. Featured image: iStock.

Keen to read more tips on how to cool your home down? Why not read our feature on how to stay cool while you sleep?

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