Cost of living: 10 ways to keep your home cool without air con as temperatures set to soar again in August
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Homeowners are being offered cost-effective tips to keep their home cool this summer as temperatures are set to soar again in August. After a wash-out few weeks, the weather in the UK is now set to improve- but with that comes sweltering temperatures many people struggle with.
Experts at Quotezone.co.uk have made a list of 10 savvy ways homeowners can tackle the scorching heat in their homes without splashing the cash on costly air conditioning units. In recent years the UK has experienced scorching temperatures throughout the summer months, and the Met Office has predicted these heatwaves will persist.
Homes in the UK are designed to retain heat, so heatwaves prove tough for Brits who cannot escape the high temperatures. Thick walls, heat-absorbing surfaces, and unsuitable insulation create heat traps which not only cause discomfort during the warmer months but can even be dangerous to the most vulnerable.
With installation costs alone ranging from £6,000 - £9,000 for a centralised unit throughout the house, investing in air conditioning is out of the question for many Brits feeling the financial effects of the cost of living crisis. DIY ice cube hacks and carefully positioning fans are just some simple ways people can cool their homes without the hefty costs attached.
Helen Rolph, price comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk, said: “The warm summer months can be exhausting for Brits living in homes ill-equipped for high temperatures. Most British homes cannot keep residents cool when it’s hot because they are built to insulate against the cold, making sleeping at night and trying to carry out daily household tasks extremely difficult.
“Air conditioning comes with a hefty price tag and high running costs, and not everyone has the money to afford it. From crafty DIY hacks to avoiding household chores at certain times of the day, following our tips can help residents keep cool without splashing out on expensive air-con units.”
Here are 10 ways you can keep your home cool this summer without air con.
Keep curtains and blinds shut
When it is hot outside, try to keep curtains and blinds shut. You’d be surprised how much the sunlight entering your home through the windows can really turn up the heat.
Invest in blackout curtains
Investing in blackout curtains and blinds may be worth it in the long run because they block out the sunlight completely, reducing the heat. They will also come in handy for homeowners on bright summer mornings when they fancy a lie-in.
Keep windows closed
If it is hotter outside than inside, windows should be shut to stop the hot air from coming inside. But if a room or part of the home is in the shade, it could be worth opening windows on the side of the building that is in the shade.
If the home feels too stuffy and needs airing out, the best time to open windows during hot weather is early in the morning or late at night.
Invest in a fan
Investing in a fan can be a cheap alternative to air conditioning, and there are some great options for under £20 at popular stores. As well as upfront costs, running a fan costs much less (24p for 12 hours, 60w pedestal fan) than air conditioning which can range from £26 a week for a single AC unit in one room to £285 a week for a centralised unit throughout the house.
Fans create a wind chill effect, which can help with quick heat relief, especially at night.
Position fans correctly
Specific placements of fans can maximize their effectiveness. A fan should always be positioned to blow on people in the room directly.
Homes with multiple windows should consider using multiple fans to help with the air-pulling process and keep rooms chilled.
Put ice cubes in front of the fans
DIY hacks such as putting a bucket of ice before a fan are clever yet effective ways to chill the air as it passes through. This method ensures cooler air circulates in the room, but there is a catch.
On a warm day, the ice may melt quickly, meaning residents need a steady stash of cubes.
Nothing is worse than trying to sleep in a hot bedroom, but a viral TikTok trend involving freezing sheets before bed could solve heat-induced insomnia. Placing bed sheets and pillows in the bed ten minutes before bed will create a crispy cold surface to sleep on.
Acting as a cooling sheet, this should stop the night-time tossing and turning.
Do the chores at night
Do household tasks such as washing, ironing, and cooking at night to counteract some of the heat the appliances can give off. The likes of ovens and washing machines will only add to a rise in temperature around the household, so save chores for the cooler evenings.
Although they won’t have a dramatic effect, plants offer a natural way to enhance air quality and keep homes cooler in the summer. As well as helping to control humidity, the moisture evaporating from their leaves can help to reduce temperatures.
Planting vines such as ivy on the outside of the home can also act as shade and block sunlight coming into the house, similar to how installing an awning would work.
Invest in a dehumidifier
The lower the humidity in a room, the cooler and more bearable it will feel. Dehumidifiers work by sucking water out of the air because moist heat is the most uncomfortable. Plenty of options are available on the market - some will turn off when the humidity drops below a specific temperature to help save on electricity costs.
The downside is that they usually cost more than £100 and the cost of a 300 watt dehumidifier could be over £17 a week if you need to run it 24 hours a day.