How to cool down a room
Due to our climate, British homes are built to keep the heat in to see us through cold winters. This can become an issue, however, when we come into summer and the temperatures are setting record heights. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2019 has an “almost certain” or “99.9% chance” of ending among the 10 warmest years on record.
A Mintel report in 2008 found that just 0.5% of houses and flats in the UK have any kind of air-con, which leaves many homeowners turning to fast, cheap remedies for cooling rooms filled with unbearable hot air.
This is what the experts have to say for how to cool a room down fast.
1. Encourage airflow
Sometimes simply opening a window is not enough to cool down a room. Ideally, you should open 2 windows that are in line with each other, or at least on opposite sides of the room. This will encourage air to flow freely through the room, creating a nice breeze.
If this isn’t an option for you, you can try placing a fan in front of an open window. The back of the fan should face the window blowing the air into the room. This means the fan will draw the cool air from outside.
2. Avoid appliances that generate heat
Almost all electrical appliances will generate a small amount of heat when in use. Small electrical appliances are unlikely to make that big of an impact, but appliances such as your oven, tumble dryer, hairdryer and even your dishwasher can kick out a lot of heat.
If you are really struggling with the heat, you should try to avoid using these appliances altogether. Swap your tumble dryer for an indoor airier. Swap cooked meals for a light, refreshing salad or other meal that requires no cooking.
3. Block out the sunlight
Our first instinct on a sunny day may be to open all the curtains to let the light in, but this can seriously disadvantage you when you are trying to keep your home cool. Heat will creep in through your windows and the glass can even have a magnifying effect, making the room hotter.
Ideally, you should open the window and close the curtains. This will block out the heat and direct sunlight whilst allowing cool air inside. If your curtains are thin and ineffective to block out the sun, draping bed covers over the window can be an alternative.
4. Keep cool at night
One of the best tips to keep cool at night is to fully open your curtains and windows once the sun has set. Once the sun has gone down, the outside temperature will drop and you can use this to cool your home. If you have double-hung windows, see if the top will open as well as they often do.
Because heat rises, one easy way to keep cool is to lower your sleeping area. This might be as simple to sleeping in a room that is lower in your house or moving your mattress to the floor.
Another great idea is to invest in a good fan, a cooling pillow and some gel cooling packs. A cooling pillow is specifically designed to draw heat away from your head which in turn will help to cool your whole body. A gel cooling pack (or even a frozen hot water bottle) in bed will work wonders to keep you cool. Sleeping under lightweight covers and 100% cotton sheets during summer will also help to keep the heat at bay.
5. Change your fan setting
Whether you have a ceiling fan, or another cooling fan, adjusting its setting can be an easy way to keep a room cool. During colder weather, a ceiling fan spinning clockwise will be best for distributing warm air throughout the room. Therefore, during summer, a ceiling fan running anticlockwise will distribute cool air. The majority of ceiling fans will have a little switch on the side which will change the direction of the fan blades.
6. Keep doors closed
Cooling down an entire house is going to take significantly more time and effort than cooling down a single room. Where possible keep doors to rooms you aren’t using closed. This will prevent hot air from wafting around your home. Closing the door will trap the heat in that room, meaning you can cool down your other rooms more effectively.
7. Ice and fans
One effective, if a little strange, method to cooling down a room is using ice alongside your fan. Position a shallow bowl of ice or a frozen hot water bottle behind your fan and it will distribute the cool temperature around your room.
To keep cool at night, you can mimic this tip by using a small fan and a spray bottle of chilled water.