Keeping your cool in the summer heat is easier said than done. We all long for the first rays of sun when in the grip of winter, but then when the mercury soars we can be somewhat unprepared, from the summer clothes we wear to the interiors of our homes.
Of course, in tropical countries the housing is designed to keep cool inside without the air con on, from all-white buildings that deflect heat to the use of tiled floors or polished concrete that are cool underfoot. But before you start wondering ‘How much is polished concrete?’ or fast tracking your order on a floor standing fan, try these easy tricks to lower the temperature indoors…
Keep The Shades Lowered
It’s so simple it’s genius and one of the oldest tricks in the book, but simply lowering the blinds or closing the curtains during the hottest part of the day (12-3pm) could save the temperature from getting out of control in your house. Studies have found that over 30 per cent of unwanted heat is coming in from your windows, and simply using a system of shades and curtains during the hottest part of the day can reduce temperatures by up to 20 per cent. So save on those air conditioning bills and pull the blinds, especially if you have south facing windows.
Bring The Blackout
To take this tip one are further, invest in blackout blinds or curtains. These are relatively inexpensive and help to block the sunlight even more. You can even find solar window clings – clear film that sticks to the window and deflects some of the heat and sun’s rays, keeping your house cooler. The white plastic backing, or white cotton lining for curtains is an easy way to cut down on bills for air conditioners or electric fans.
Control The Air Flow
Another simple trick is just to be mindful of controlling the air flow in your house – and this can be as easy as shutting the internal doors properly! Any unused rooms should be closed off during the day and then conversely at night, open up interns doors to encourage the flow of cooler night time air through the house. Think natural AC!
Hack Your Fans
If you are using an electric fan, there’s a nifty little trick to try to enhance their cooling power – and it won’t cost you a penny more! Simply take some ice or a cool pack, pop into a shallow dish and place directly in front of your electric fan. This will allow a constant stream of cooled air to circulate. It’s like having your own personal sea breeze!
Switch It Up In The Bedroom
Many people have gotten out of the habit of changing their bedding with the seasons, so if you stick with the same duvet and pillows all year round, invest in some summer weight items to keep cool. Always opt for a breathable natural fabric such as cotton during the hotter months – polyesters and other plastic fibres trap more heat. And if you love that ‘cold side of the pillow’ sensation? Then you need to know about buckwheat pillows! The natural fibre has naturally occurring air pockets in it’s structure, even when packed densely together. This means it doesn’t hold on to the heat generated by your body, and allows the air to flow, keeping your head cooler during those humid nights.
Keep Your Cool
When it’s hot outside, it’s more important than ever to keep hydrated. Fill a large jug or flask with slices of fresh lime and lemon, top it up with water and ice, and keep sipping away throughout the day. You could even experiment with other water infusions such as strawberry and mint, or orange and basil. If you’ve been outside in the direct sun, run the cold tap over your wrist pulse points when you get in to cool your whole body down quickly. Opt for summer clothing made of linens, cottons and other lightweight natural fabrics that will allow air to circulate around your body. Find a few stylish summer dresses and loose linen trousers and own that boho look for the hottest months. A piece of muslin fabric dipped in chilled water, wring out and placed around your neck is also a great trick to know when the heat is getting oppressive. Finally, if you do have ceiling fans, run them counter-clockwise to create a more cooling breeze for you and your home.
Keeping cool in the summer doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive – you can hack it when you know how!