Ideally, we would all live somewhere with perfect ventilation, unlimited air conditioning and a rooftop pool. But until those dreams come true, here are some smart hacks you can try to help keep the temperature down inside during summer, without sending your energy bill through the roof.
While it may sound simple, up to 30% of unwanted heat comes through your windows, even when the sun isn't shining directly on them (think of reflected light and heat from roofs and other windows outside your place). Investing in thicker curtains that help darken the room a little can lead to a temperature drop of about ten degrees. Better yet, get some blackout curtains in neutral colours with a white plastic backing, which can reduce heat gain by up to 33%.
Ever feel like your fan is simply pushing the hot air around your room? Place a bowl or tray at an angle in front of your fan and fill it with ice cubes or an ice pack – the fan will pick up the cooler air coming of the frozen things and send it your way!
Humans perspire in the heat because the water evaporating off our skin has a cooling effect. Mimic this without the smell or sticky feeling by keeping a spray bottle with water close by. A light mist on your face, chest or arms, especially if you've got a fan nearby can work wonders. Better yet, keep one in the fridge during the day so you have a cool one at hand during those hot nights when you're desperate for relief!
It's not just the thickness and weight of your sheets that impacts your temperature and comfort: fabric plays a big role too. Treat yourself to some summer sheets in a fabric such as bamboo fibre, which can be cooler than cotton or polyester sheets. You can also buy specialty mats and pillows designed to draw heat away from the body during the night.
Another simple hack? Make that hot water bottle work for you in summer too, by filling and freezing it. An hour before bed, pop it inside your pillow case or wrap your sheet around it.
Take an old sheet and wet it in the sink. Wring out the excess water so you don't drip everywhere and hang it in front of an open window.
Make sure you place your fans around your space and near windows strategically. You want to create a cross breeze, but with two fans you turn one around to push the hot air out an open window, while the other near an open window will draw cool air in.
Want a more permanent solution to solve your heat woes in a hurry? Consider a personal loan to make some small adjustments to your home – like adding some awnings or tinted windows – before summer gets in to full swing.