How to keep your house cool in the summer

Without using air conditioning

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With the rising temperatures, more people are looking for ways to keep their house cool. And, although cooling your home may not be as energy intensive as heating your home (especially in the UK where air conditioning units are few and far between!), it can be tempting to ramp up a fan in every room of the house. This of course it isn’t always the most cost-effective or energy efficient - or even particularly effective way, to cool down your home.

So, we’ve pulled together our top tips for keeping your home cool without wasting energy during the warmer weather:

1. Block the sun out

Although blocking the sun out of your home may seem obvious, many of us are guilty of letting the sun stream in through the window - especially after it feels like it’s been missing for so long.

One of the easiest ways to keep your home cool during the warmer weather is to actually keep your blinds or curtains closed, particularly if the window sits on a south or west-facing wall.

They’ll act as a barricade and help keep the temperature down, but if you do want to have them open to let some light in, try to avoid doing this during the hottest parts of the day, perhaps just opening in the evening to enjoy the last bit of the sun.

2. Open your windows at the correct times

Even though the sky might look blue and crisp, that doesn’t mean the air coming will be too. When it’s hot outside, it’s best to avoid opening your windows when the outside temperature is higher than the inside temperature. In the UK, the average temperature for our homes is around 18°C, so when the weather peaks in the mid-20s in the afternoon, you’ll want to avoid opening your windows until the evening.

A good general rule of thumb is to only open your windows first thing in the morning or evening and throughout the night. This usually means avoiding having them open between about 11 am and 3 pm (the hottest part of the day).

Another good tip is to open windows at opposite ends of your home to create a draft. Moving air is cooler than still air, so you’ll create a bit of a breeze and allow the air to circulate better.

You can even take it one step further by hanging a damp sheet in front of the open window, which will cool the air as it moves into your home.

3. Skip out on using hot appliances during the day

When the weather is warm, it’s a good idea to avoid adding to that heat with hot appliances. Kitchen goods such as ovens or tumble dryers will cause your kitchen to warm up - and quickly, So, rather than using a tumble dryer, dry your clothes on the washing line - the old-fashioned way. In fact, if you stopped using a tumble dryer altogether, you would save around £70 a year.

Similarly, TVs, set-top boxes, DVDs, mobile phone chargers, games consoles, stereos, and PCs use small amounts of electricity when they are plugged in but not switched on, but they can generate a lot of heat.

Whilst the standby energy consumed is small, the overall energy consumption does add up. Switch off the standby, reduce your energy consumption, and save between £50 and £80 a year.

4. Choose the right bedding

Our 13-tog duvets may come in handy during the winter months, but they’ll only make you uncomfortable during the warmer weather, making it tempting to just keep the fan on throughout the entire night.

Similarly, you should avoid synthetic bedding and opt for cotton or linen. Cotton and linen are known for being breathable materials, so the hot air won’t be as likely to get trapped under your duvet, and you’ll be less likely to get that ‘clammy’ feeling you do with synthetic materials.

5. Consider house plants

Not only are house plants proven to improve our overall well-being, with them being proven to reduce stress levels and blood pressure, they’re also great for helping to keep our homes cool.

When our homes get too hot, plants go through a process called transpiration, which helps them to cool down. This also means that when our homes get too hot, plants will let this excess humidity evaporate through their leaves, and as it does this, heat will be removed from the air, which also helps our homes to cool down.


*figures accurate as of 14/5/24