How to keep your house cool in hot weather

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Britain is getting hotter – once a rare occasion, scorching heatwaves are now the norm across the UK, and so far in 2020 we have seen record-breaking heat and numerous warm spells since the start of the season. Friday is set to see highs of 37C in some areas, and the hot weather is expected to continue through the weekend.

The mercury is forecast to go well past the 30s over the next few days, meaning many of us will be stuck indoors working from home without the comforts of office air conditioning.

Given the UK was never predicted to be subject to boiling temperatures on a regular basis, our homes and offices are not designed in the same way countries with frequent sunshine are.

What’s more, it is uncommon for UK homes to have air conditioning, which is terrible for the environment anyway.

Despite this, there are some things you can do to improve the situation at home.

Close the blinds and windows

Closing blinds and curtains once the air gets cooler the night before – and keep them that way until the heatwave is finished.

By simply not letting the direct sunlight in, it’s possible to stay reasonably cool.

The Heatwave Plan for England advises to keep blinds down and windows shut during the day.

It says: “Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.”

Elsewhere, it says: “Windows and other ventilation openings should not be closed, but their openings reduced when the outdoor air becomes warmer than the air indoors – this should help keep rooms cool whilst allowing adequate ventilation.”

Buy a fan

Fans are great for providing that breeze if you’re stuck indoors and unable to go outside.

Just as you would in the winter, try using a hot water bottle.

Freeze it, though, rather than fill it with boiling water, and place it in front of the fan.

This will add a little ice blast to your fan, and eventually can help cool an entire room down.

If you have multiple fans, you can create a cross breeze which will help to keep rooms cool.

Strategically place numerous fans around a room.

Put a fan by the window, and then another further inside the room so they both push the cooler air around the room.

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Keep the lights off

Light bulbs (even environmentally-friendly ones) give off heat – so switch them off, too.

The sun is around for a bit longer in the evening now, so light shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

But otherwise, opt for small lamps or lights instead of overhead lighting to help cool things down.

Use a wet sheet

If you’ve got a spare sheet going, it’s a good idea to wet it and hang it in front of an open window so the breeze blows through it

This can help bring down the room’s temperature.

Just be sure not to use it in front of a sun-facing window – these curtains should be drawn anyway and it will also dry in an instant.

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