10 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool in Hot Weather

As the summer nears, you should consider how to keep your home cool on hot days. As the climate changes and heat waves increase, keeping the temperature down in our homes will become more important for safety and practical reasons alike.

So, here are some ways to keep your home cool ahead of this summer and the ones ahead.

woman using a fan
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1. Air Conditioning

For starters, you may be considering whether to opt for AC or fans. Ultimately, air conditioning is the better option for cooling down since it cools the air down directly, whereas fans do not function in the same way, nor are they as effective.

air conditioner

Moreover, if having an air conditioning system installed, you’ll want to ensure you go for the right type for your home’s cooling needs (and there should be some leeway too to account for heatwaves and the changing climate).

Key factors to consider when choosing an AC system include the BTU rating (a higher BTU rating = a higher level of cooling) and the features you’re looking for. If unsure what AC system to opt for, you can always consult with a qualified electrician. They’ll be needed to install the AC system anyway as it is not a DIY-friendly setup.

2. Open Windows at the Right Times

You’ll find mixed advice online regarding when to open and close your windows during hot weather. Of course, fresh air is very important, however, keeping your windows open for all of the daytime when it's hot will let a lot of heat in and ultimately cause your home to heat up more.

open window

So, how do you balance things right?

Here is a summary of the key advice for window opening times:

  • It’s a good idea to open your window for 15 minutes a day to let fresh air in (and to do so during a cooler part of the day when it's hot out).
  • Generally, keep windows closed before or during hot temperatures Pulling down your blinds or/and pulling your curtains over can help keep some rooms cooler as windows can act as a greenhouse, letting light in and causing a space to warm substantially.
  • Open windows later in the day if temperatures have dropped substantially and it’s cooler outside than inside (you can use a thermometer inside and outside to compare). Just be sure to close them before you hit the hay. The only exception might be if you want to keep a bedroom window open if you feel safe doing so, but this decision should be made with caution as it creates a safety/break-in risk.

3. Sleep in Cooler Spaces Where Possible

One approach that is more relevant to keeping cooler individually is to find a cooler space to sleep at night. For example, if you have a spare bedroom, you may find that it’s cooler during the summertime.

woman sleeping

4. Wear Natural Fibres

Another way to keep cooler personally is to wear natural fibres. Examples worth considering include cotton, cool linen and bamboo. These light materials offer plenty of ventilation (i.e. breathability) helping to keep you cool on a hot summer’s day!

natural fibre clothes

5. Use Window Blinds/Curtains in Smart Ways

Extending a little on our mention of how to use window blinds and curtains in the right way (as touched on in the ‘Open Windows at the Right Times’ section), it may be generally surprising that pulling down the blinds or/and pulling the curtains over can keep heat out.

woman closing blinds

While this approach can keep existing heat in, if you pull the blinds down or/and curtains over ahead of particularly high temperatures (e.g. the hottest parts of the day during the summer or a heat wave) it will prevent intense sunlight from heating up the room by using the window as a greenhouse.

The extent to which and where you should utilise this method will depend on key factors like how much sun reaches the windows of a given room/space in the daytime, the type of windows you have (single-glazed windows will let more heat in than double- or triple-glazed), and the sort of blinds and curtains used.

6. Use Reflective Film

Installing reflective window film to your windows is a cost-effective way of keeping your home cool that doesn’t involve pulling the curtains over, leaving spaces dull and free of sunlight on gorgeous summer days.

reflective film in windows

Adding a suitable window film per the manufacturer’s instructions can limit glare and heat. Please be aware that, along with fitting reflective film for the summertime, you may also want to install it temporarily should a heat wave occur in the spring or autumn!

7. Cotton Bed Linen

Bed linen made of cotton is one of the best options for keeping cool when sleeping through hot weather. Of course, you may only need a light sheet atop you when it’s particularly hot out, too.

cotton bed linen

As for pyjamas, opt for those made with natural fibres like cotton or cool linen. While it may seem like a helpful approach, wearing little to no clothing can have negative effects on your sleep pattern and even ability to cool.

If you have any concerns (particularly if you or someone else in your home is vulnerable to temperature extremes), you or they should consult with a local GP for clarity as to the best approach.

8. Cool Your Garden with a Water Feature

Along with keeping the inside of your home cool, you should look into how you can keep your garden cool. Interestingly, the mere presence of water features in a garden space can cool the surrounding air which can benefit your lawn, any other plant life and make it a cooler space if you spend time in it.

water featured

9. Use Appliances When It's Cooler

Notably, running household appliances can heat up the surrounding air, making the space warmer and potentially even heating up other parts of your home to a certain degree.

Therefore, to the extent possible, you should use your appliances later in the day when indoor and outdoor temperatures have reduced to keep your home cooler.

woman using a fan

You may want to use them in the morning. However, it’s important to consider how their heat may persist for some hours after use continuing during the hotter times of the day.

As a result, you may want to stick largely or entirely to the evening time for using appliances but if this is an issue (e.g. your washing machine may not be done in time before you’re going to bed and you want to be awake when it’s on to ensure safety), you might find that the early- to mid-morning works.

Of course, you could mix it up between the morning and evening and work out an ideal approach that works for you and your schedule while limiting or avoiding running appliances when it’s warmest. It’s also worth noting that taking a stricter approach to this during a heat wave makes sense, with no appliances running when it’s especially hot.

Beyond that, make sure that your boiler is not scheduled to run during the warmer parts of the year or if a heat wave is coming up. This may seem obvious, but if you have your boiler automatically scheduled, the heating may run and catch you off guard.

This mistake is more likely to happen when the weather has changed abruptly (e.g. maybe it’s been wet, cold and windy lately, but then a spell of hot weather or even a heat wave suddenly arrives or is expected to).

10. Natural Fibre Sheet for Your Sofa

Just as it’s a good idea to wear natural fibre clothing when it's hot, placing a natural fibre sheet on your sofa can help keep it cool on hot days. This will make the sofa cooler and, therefore, more comfortable to sit on. Moreover, a natural fibre sheet may also limit how much heat is stored in the room.

fibre sheet

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Last updated by MyJobQuote on 17th May 2024.
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