The UK spends a lot of time at home. When the weather is nice many of us would prefer to be outside if we could. The summers in the last few years have proved to be hot. The Met Office says that heatwaves in the UK are becoming a normal event with each passing year.
The weather in the UK can often be unpredictable – sunny and warm one day, then cold and wet on another day. When hot weather arrives, it does not take long for Brits to start complaining about heat. We must look for other solutions to keeping cool during the sizzling summer months. Recently though the UK summers have been some of the hottest on record. These changes could be down to climate change, which is predicted to get worse in the future. We all need to reduce energy consumption.
Never was this truer than during the COVID-19 lockdown! However, going out is not always that easy for some of us. Many vulnerable people need to spend prolonged periods indoors.
How do you keep a house cool in summer?
There is nothing more cooling than an electric fan. Did you know that a bowl of ice placed in front of the fan makes them more effective? The ice cools the air, in an equivalent way that an air conditioning unit works. The downside of course is that fans consume electricity, which is not great for conserving energy.
Close the blinds
Rooms with windows that face South can get very warm when it is sunny. Your room can very quickly act like a greenhouse, especially during a heatwave. An uncomplicated way to keep a room cool that faces the sun is to keep blinds or curtains closed during the daytime. It is important to keep the windows closed though as doing so will just let warm air into the room. Wait until sundown before opening windows again when it is safe and secure to do so. Blinds are perfect for regulating daylight as they are adjustable. Powered automated blinds can be fitted with a sensor so that they open and close automatically.
Turn off electrical appliances
Electric light bulbs consume a lot of power when left on for prolonged periods of time. Older incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat after a certain amount of time. Try switching to energy efficient bulbs instead.
Fridges are cold, right?
However, it is not just electric lights that generate heat. Some electrical appliances in the home generate unwanted heat. Would you believe that a refrigerator produces a small amount of heat? Heat inside the fridge needs to be transferred outside to work. This is a normal part of the cooling process. The heat is pumped around the fridge using an electrical compressor, which in turn also generates a small amount of heat. Check for dust build up on the condenser coil at the back of the fridge. A vacuum cleaner fitted with a nozzle brush is the best way to remove dust.
Eat al fresco
When you are feeling hot and bothered, who really feels like cooking anyway? A lot of energy is required to cook food in an oven. This means adding even more heat to your kitchen! Try eating food that does not need a lot of cooking, such as salads. And if you have access to an outside space, it is a perfect time for a barbeque!
Get a meter
Many energy providers can install a smart meter in your home. One of the advantages is that you can monitor your consumption in real time. They also serve as a reminder if lights are accidentally left on in a room that is not being used.
We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. These are only a few things that you can do to keep cool. Whatever you do, try to stay cool and make the most of the fine weather while it lasts.