Our houses are built for winter. Compared to hotter countries, where air conditioning is built-in but freezing in winter, we have focused on central heating and insulation and thick walls.

And when summer comes around… it’s unbearable inside.

Now that our summers are getting hotter every year, it’s time to seriously look at how to cool down the indoors, because it’s impossible to stay outdoors at all times.

Temporary measures to take during heatwaves

Air circulation is key. It may seem like a small thing, but creating a cross breeze is the only way to cool your rooms down naturally.  If you have a fan, you can place an ice-cold wet towel on it to help cool air circulate.

You can also use the extractor fan if necessary as in some instances it can also extract heat from rooms!

Of course, try to cover your windows with curtains or other means of creating a shade to avoid direct heat coming into your home.

Long-term solutions for hot summers

In order to prepare for the hot summer, there are ways to upgrade your home. Depending on your home and whether you are a home owner or renting, some of these may be possible in your home.

First of all, consider installing internal blinds or external shutters, roller blinds or even awnings.

Awnings are ideal as they block out the sun and heat before it can hit the window.

If you have a garden on the south side, consider growing higher plants outside the south-facing windows, which can also provide shade.

A rather simple but effective investment is reflective film. You can stick it directly onto windows and doors that catch the most sun and the rays will be reflected, thus reducing the heat.

Putting a reflective film on the windows that receive the most sunlight can help to keep these rooms cooler.

If you are willing to make some bigger changes, a rather low-cost option is to paint your roof. A coating of reflective white paint can lower the temperature inside a home by a few degrees.

More costly is investing in triple glazed windows. It’s costly, but works both offers benefits in both winter and summer. The triple glazing avoids the heat transferring through the glass, both keeping your home warm in winter and cold in summer.

General tricks you need to know

These may seem like small details, but they add up, especially during a heatwave and in smaller homes or in the bedroom:

  • Turn off or unplug any unnecessary electrical items, as they radiate heat.
  • Keep medication somewhere cool as the “room temperature” indicated on the packaging is not for summer or heatwaves.
  • Cook at cooler times of day to reduce the extra heat in your house and avoid using the oven on those very hot days.

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