10 Tips For Keeping Your House Cool in a Heatwave
Heatwaves are going to be a more familiar experience in the UK, but it is possible to stay cool without the expense of air conditioning.
Here are 10 tips for keeping your house cool.
1. Live in an old house
Modern lightweight construction with high levels of insulation works well in winter, but these buildings have little thermal mass (storage of cold-ness).
2. Block out all the sun
Despite using more electricity, during a heatwave, it’s better to illuminate a room with low-energy lighting than to allow direct sunlight in. Once the sun has moved round, you can turn off the lights and let indirect light in again.
3. Use blinds with a reflective white surface
Fitted snugly to the window reveal, they will do a much better job of keeping the heat out than loosely draped dark curtains (that will just absorb the heat).
4. Open windows at night
Consider fitting security catches to minimise the risk of intruders breaking in through open windows.
5. Open loft hatches at night
This allows hot air to rise, don’t do this when the sun is shining on the roof, as this may introduce more heat.
6. During the day, only leave windows open if it’s cooler outside than inside
Heat originating from inside the building is insignificant compared with the heat brought in by hot outdoor air. You will need a thermometer for inside, and use weather apps to work out what times to open windows. This may mean shutting windows before leaving for work and not opening them until later in the evening.
7. When using internal blinds, crack the window open slightly
This allows the very hot air trapped between the glass and blind to escape through buoyancy.
8. Consider fitting external shading
On south and west elevations, an awning will make a big difference to the amount of heat picked up from direct sunlight.
9. Grow climbing plants on sunny walls
This will create a barrier between the sun and brickwork (it will also keep the house warmer in winter).
10. Go French! External shutters look great
And if you can stop the sunlight before it gets inside the glass, you stand a better chance of staying cool!