It’s all very well finding your dream home and cranking up the central heating in winter, but what happens come a summer heat wave like we’re currently enjoying? The UK isn’t known for its tropical climate, and as such the houses are also not constructed to withstand tropical highs of 32 degrees – which is all good and well until that’s exactly what we’re faced with. Suddenly our cosy little terrace house has transformed into an Eskimo’s worst nightmare. Despair not, because we offer you some clever tips on how to keep it cool – (on a budget mind because that portable air-con is going to guzzle electricity).
- Replace ordinary bulbs with Led lights – LED lights emit less heat than halogen bulbs. Skip over the scientific explanation and let’s focus on the cost savings - a 10W LED floodlight is fifteen times more energy efficient than a 150W Halogen bulb. If you can’t replace it with a LED light, opt to keep your lighting to the minimum on those long summer eves – go instead for some romantic candlelight or a few low wattage lamps.
- Keep showers short and sweet – Humidity interferes with your body’s natural cooling mechanism which depends on the evaporation of fluids (yes, the bodily kind) from your skin. Essentially a fan aids this by moving air over your skin to lift the moisture through evaporation. The more humidity there is in the air, the more sluggish the evaporation process will be. So don’t add more moisture to the air by languishing in long showers. Even if they’re of the cold variety.
- Put some ice in a bowl in front of the fan – If you could be any appliance, you’d be the deep freezer right? Well now it’s time to bring the deep freezer to you by circulating the cold air evaporating around some ice blocks. All you need to do is place them in water in front of a fan.
- Frozen face towels but pass on baby – If none of the above is working, it’s time to get crafty. Wet some face towels and place them in the freezer, then apply to radiating extremities (arms, legs, foreheads). Don’t use this trick if there is a baby in the house -– ever.
However, it’s essential to keep babies cool, especially if they’re less than one year old. Rather place a face towel in lukewarm (almost cool) water, ring it out and lightly dab baby down, then place him or her near the fan. Too much heat is very dangerous for both the young and old, so if you have an elderly relative offer them some immediate relief. One way would be to have someone give them a cool sponge bath – and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
- Keep the windows shut unless there’s a breeze – It’s not only cool air that comes in from outside, warm air is even more interfering. Keep windows shut from sunrise to sunset and preferably the blinds down as well.
- Get out but not via the tube – The underground can finish off even the boldest soul in summer – so if you want to get out to get some fresh air, take the bus or train and open the windows for some outdoor air to rush past.
- Cotton on – Not all apparel stores sell 100% cotton clothing but that’s the only type of garment that is going to keep you cool because it’s natural and allows air flow. So when you are shopping this weekend, check the labels. This is especially essential for baby clothing and wraps.
If you’ve followed these seven tips but are still thinking of moving to Siberia, rather contact your online estate agent first to see if we can find you something with better natural airflow instead.