In the modern office or hotel, we’re very rarely walking around sweltering in a heat haze, thanks to sophisticated air conditioning systems running through the buildings. But we can’t all afford such luxury in our homes, so how do we keep cool without air conditioning?
You can cool your room by keeping air moving around and what better way to do this than a cooling fan . Fans come in all shapes and sizes and can be positioned in different places to suit the design of your room. One of the most popular locations is of course the ceiling, which is not usually restricted by other furnishings. A ceiling fan is a great option to ensure air moves around the whole of the room. Ceiling fans that turn counter clockwise will be the most effective as they push the cool air downwards.
Fans don’t actually cool the air, they cool the skin, and so you may prefer a box fan, a free standing fan or a mobile fan that you can move close to where you’re sitting.
Note: Try and position mobile fans lower down, tilting up, so that they blow the warm air upwards, above where you’re sitting.
A whole house fan could be installed which can draw warm air up into the loft and then sent outside via air vents. Make sure that the doors between the basement and the room that contains the fan are open, to enable the fan to draw the cooler air up, which will have an overall cooling effect to the house.
Close the curtains and blinds
The sun’s rays are constantly streaming through the window and will heat up a room just like it does to a greenhouse. Close the blinds, or at least angle them so they are facing the sun (deflecting the sun’s rays) and you’ll deflect a lot of potential heat. Of course if you have curtains then just close them competely. Open the windows at night or early in the morning, before the sun starts getting high, to let the fresh cooler air in and also leave interior doors open to let the stored heat out.
Turn off the electric things you don’t need
Electronic devices and appliances that are constantly plugged in will generate a lot of unnecessary heat. It’s often very easy to forget that they’re switched on and some appliances or devices are still drawing electricity even when they’re switched off. Whenever the electricity isn’t used it turns into heat, contributing to the rising temperature. Turn off your chargers, lamps, computers and tv’s when you’re not using them and unplug all power adaptors that aren’t being used.
Change your lightbulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs and LEDs use far less energy, they last much longer and consequently give off much less heat than incandescent bulbs, which require much more electricity and generate a lot of heat when producing energy. Change to energy efficient bulbs and the room will be a little cooler. Every little counts.
It’s a tough one but try not to use the oven, grill and hob so much. Instead use the microwave, and the outside grill / barbecue – when the days are long and the sun is shining, this can be far more pleasurable than sweating it out in a hot kitchen! … or simply eat cold food. If you need to cook with internal appliances then try and do this early in the morning, when the air is still cooler outside.
Add more shade outside
As mentioned above, you can close curtains and blinds to deflect sun rays, but also think about whether you could add structures such as awnings or natural objects such as trees and bushes in direct line of the sun.
Sleep lower down but higher up
What? Lower down but higher up? – well firstly, we know that heat always rises and so of course the warmest place in the house will usually be at the top of the building … where most of us usually like to sleep. But what if you could use rooms lower down at the bottom of the house, as your bedroom – possibly even a basement. The lower down you go, the further away the heat will be, ensuring a restful sleep.
But then being a little higher up than on the floor would ensure cool air can circulate beneath you, so if you have a bed with legs or maybe a suspended bed such as a hammock, you could ensure that fresh cool air would be circulating underneath you, cooling you down from all angles.
Change your clothes
Loose fitting clothing will allow the air to circulate a lot more across your skin, cooling you down easier. Try and avoid fabrics such as polyester or clothes made from artificial fibres. Instead choose clothes made from cotton, linen and silk.
You’ll find that you get much hotter when you wear darker clothing. This is because dark colours absorb the sun’s heat. Lighter colours however will reflect the sun’s light and heat and consequently keep you much cooler.
Wearing socks and shoes will make you much warmer overall so whenever possible go barefoot.
Change your bedding
Just as silk and satin clothes can cool you right down, so too can your bedsheets. Cool cotton materials as well as silk and satin sheets also feel more comfortable and will keep you cooler than bedding made from polyester or artificial fibres.
Cool down quickly with a wet rag
When you just can’t wait to cool down then good old water is your saviour – soak a rag or cloth with cold water and place it under your armpit or on the back of your neck for a an instant cooling sensation.
You need to drink more water when you’re hot. When you’re hot, you start to sweat and you can soon become dehydrated, so always drink plenty fluids to ensure you stay hydrated.