We all know how stifling the summer heat can be, especially in the home at night time when all we want to do is sleep instead of slowly trickle to the floor. Apart from removing the roof for a few months, is there anything that we can do to help keep the house cool?
Thankfully yes and we will start with the most obvious first:
If at any point in a heatwave thought “Why can’t I just leave the ‘fridge door open?” you aren’t as mad as you think. No, leaving it open won’t work – they simply do not work that way, and would probably leave the hotter not cooler.
With a little modification though, and an air conditioning unit is actually not all that different. The first thing to keep in mind is the conservation of energy law (physics stuff) that says that energy cannot be created, or destroyed. Energy is transformed from one form to another, so all we need to do is convert heat to cold.
A fridge does this, in a very small way, and so does air con. When air is sucked in and converted, heat is generated and this has to be put somewhere other than the place you are trying to cool. That’s why a fridge fails hard at being an air conditioning unit – it puts the hot air back in the room.
Air conditioning units have an extra fan in the back, to circulate air more efficiently. Now you know how they work, and why, you can make a more informed buying decision. Clue: in order to work exactly as it should, the hot air cannot be put in the room you are trying to cool
Blinds and Curtains
During the day, with the sun’s rays beating through your windows (which are always going to have a degree of magnification), your home can turn into an oven pretty quickly. Cheap blinds and curtain can help prevent, or at least reduce, the effects by blocking direct sunlight.
Try and choose blinds that have a reflective surface on the side facing outside, as this will direct light away rather than absorb it. You will be amazed by the difference this can make, and if you do this in every room you may never need air conditioning again.
Cook and Wash Clothes Wisely
During extended periods of heat, do you really need to cook? This kind of weather is the perfect excuse to abandon the stove and prepare a cooling salad, right from the fridge.
Failing that, a barbecue outdoors with friends a few drinks sounds like an excellent plan too, doesn’t it? As for washing clothes, you don’t need to use the dryer in the middle of a heatwave. A washing line in the garden will have your clothes dry in no time and they will smell amazing!
Anything that can keep things like ovens and dryers turned off is going to help keep temperatures down.
Keeping your home cool doesn’t have to mean pulling down a wall, so long as you can take care of the little things – the rest will follow under its own steam.