Spray or sponge yourself with water. Take a cool shower
A fan can help you stay comfortable
A cold pack around your neck or under an arm.
Put cold water in a ‘hot water bottle’ then in a freezer. Take it to bed!
Avoid going out or exerting yourself in the heat of the day
Loose, thin clothing, a wide-brimmed hat & sunglasses outside
Don’t get dehydrated. Have cold drinks regularly.
Avoid heat exhaustion See NHS advice
Reduce sun coming in the windows
Internal curtains or blinds, especially reflective ones, help but external shading is better still:
External shutters or venetian blinds – can be electrically operated
Awnings, retractable or DIY (video), Many electric awnings are automatic.
On a hot day close all doors, windows and vents that let in hot air.
Cool off at night :
Let hot air out by opening windows or skylights at the top of the house. Draw in cool air by opening ground-floor windows or vents where the air is cooler outside. Many windows can be part-opened in secure ways that won’t let a burglar in.
For example restrictors like these or these can be fitted to wooden sash windows, letting them only open a bit when you want.
If your home is only on one floor, purge the hot air by opening windows or vents on opposite sides, if possible.
Choose low-energy appliances & lights: use them only as needed.
Are your hot water pipes and tank well insulated?
Insulate walls and roofs, especially those that get hot in the sun.
Reflective, silvery insulation (eg: multifoil) is good for reducing heat radiating down from a hot roof. Draught-proofing helps keeps hot air out.
Thermal Mass from brick, stone, etc stabilises indoor temperatures.
External wall insulation, with the thermal mass of the walls inside is good for this. You can benefit from the thermal mass of solid floors by covering them with tiles, rather than thick carpets.
If your home’s too hot, is there anywhere you can go that’s cooler? Could you sleep in a cooler room – on the north side or ground floor?
Avoid air-conditioning, where possible – it’s energy-intensive and blasts heat at your neighbours.
See this NHS advice on staying safe in hot weather. Older people and young children are most at risk.
Do you know people in hot homes you can invite to cool off in yours?
Could you offer them advice or practical help, with some of the above?
Hoping this helps you enjoy the hot summer weather!
My heart goes out to anyone in a poorly designed home that overheats easily, especially people in single-aspect flats that face the sun. Single-aspect means that windows are only on one side, so they’re hard to ventilate, although see slide 21 here on using a fan to help. Without shading or heat-reflecting glass, the sun becomes punishing. CCF thermal imaging revealed a new flat like this with poorly insulated hot pipes in a corner, carrying solar-heated hot water around the block!
It’s a scandal that UK building regulations have only just (June 2022) required design to prevent overheating in new-build homes. This was practical and needed decades ago; so many residents suffer unnecessarily in poor homes, built during that time.
Tom Bragg, based on an Open Eco Homes talk: ‘Cool Homes in a Heatwave‘