Updated: 30/06/2019

Keeping the House Cool in Extreme Heat

The UK can experience deadly heat waves with temperatures rising to 35C – 40C. This debilitating heat can permeate the walls of your home and increase temperatures further. It is crucial to keep the house cool in extreme heat to prevent side effects from the heat. Some common effects are excessive sweating, increase in pulse rates, nausea, weakness, headaches, muscular weakness or cramps, and dizziness. 

Some people have also suffered from loss of consciousness and have injured themselves. People with breathing difficulties have shown an increase in uneasiness, and have found it hard to breathe. The best way to avoid all these things is to ensure your house remains cool in extreme heat. 

With the varying temperatures and the sudden spikes, it is necessary to follow some simple rules or precautions in the summer. 

Let us look at how you can keep the house cool in this heat. 


Keep the sun out

The main reason for heat getting inside the house is excessive ventilation. Our first instinct is to open the windows and curtains and let the heat into the home. Airing the house is excellent, but not ideal when facing extreme heat. 

The best way to tackle this is to keep windows and curtains shut. Keeping them shut during the day helps keep the heat out, and maintains the ambient temperature of the house at a little lower than outside. You can open the windows and curtains once the sun sets to let some fresh air into the house.


Turn off appliances

There is an excellent chance you wouldn’t use all the appliances in the house at the same time. As a habit, switch off your appliances when not in use. Not only does doing this help decrease your electricity bill each month, but also stops appliances from overheating. Most appliances in the kitchen need to displace heat regularly.

Once you stop the displacement of heat and allow appliances to cool naturally, the temperature drops automatically. Refrigerators need to be kept running, but microwaves, ovens, mixers, and grinders can be shut when not in use. You should also shut off the computer and TV when not in use. Keeping overhead lights shut also decreases the overall temperature of the room. You can also let your cutlery and crockery dry naturally, instead of running the dishwasher.

Keeping the House Cool in Extreme Heat

Eat cool foods

While it is fun to barbeque or serve up roast dinners, it is entirely counterproductive in extreme heat. Since kitchens generate a lot of heat, reducing the time spent cooking and turning the cooking range on, helps decrease the temperature of the kitchen. 

Instead of hot meals during the day, opt for cold soups, salads, cold meats, and fresh fruit juices. These foods keep you hydrated throughout the day while ensuring your internal temperature remains as low as possible. Juices like watermelon, apple, and orange help maintain body temperature and prevent heatstroke.


Invest in pedestal fans

Most British homes have pedestal fans or table fans. If you don’t, you could invest in a portable table fan that is easy to use. The trick is to place a bowl of icy water with some ice cubes in front of the fan. As the ice in the cold water dissolves, the cold evaporation helps cool the room down quickly, mimicking an air conditioner. 

You could also place these fans wherever you are sitting and avoid excessive ventilation throughout the room. Decreasing the motion of air also helps in keeping temperatures down. 


Plan your garden and vegetation

While it may seem like a last-minute attempt, planting shrubs and trees around the wall of your home helps provide shade from the sun and the heat. Vines and climbers around windows and open doorways help keep the temperature down. They also ensure the house smells fresh upon entry and near windows. 

During summers, gardens and vegetation also help keep the soil intact and prevent erosion and drying of the ground. This helps during replanting and in keeping your soil healthy.


Air Conditioning

If possible, invest or hire air conditioners for a short term. Portable air conditioners for hire are excellent during the summer. They keep the ambient down and allow for easy breathing. While it is counterproductive to install air conditioners in chilly Britain, the heat during summers can become unbearable, and cause health concerns.

Air conditioners help keep the air in the house dry and allow pets, children, and senior citizens to react reasonably to the heat.

While there is no quick fix to combat the intense warmth, these tricks will help you get through the heat in a bearable manner.

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