Tips for Cheap Ways to Keep Cool in this Heat

Published: 21/07/2021 and written by P Smith

Man using a fan to cool down

We wait all year round for some decent weather to arrive, and when it does the first thing we do is complain that it’s far too hot. Extended periods of heat do affect us Brits though as our bodies aren’t accustomed to high temperatures unlike other parts of the world, meaning they rapidly overheat. Another contributing factor is that British buildings are designed to keep heat in and often lack air conditioning. Have no fear, Mr Lender is here with some top tips on how to keep yourself and your home cool without having to spend a lot and in most cases by just using things you have lying around you anyway.

FANS

Fan and ice

Air conditioning within homes in the UK isn’t really a thing, mostly down to the fact that they are extremely expensive to run and would only be gathering dust for the majority of the year. But there is a fantastic alternative to help boost the results of your current fan using what you already have lying around your home. Simply get a couple of empty bottles, fill them up with water and freeze them. Once they are frozen place them in front of a fan to produce a similar result to air-conditioning.

The same result can be produced with a bowl of ice, but we recommend using bottles so as to avoid spilling fluids next to electricals. While aiming a fan at yourself may feel like the most immediate refreshing option, it won’t do much in terms of cooling the room down in the long run. Instead, at nighttime aim a fan out of the window, this way you’ll be blowing hot air out of the room and replacing it with cold air from outside.

COOKING

No Cooking

The last thing you want to be doing in the heat is cooking elaborate meals using both an oven and hob creating an unbearable amount of heat. If you are in the mood for a hot meal, try firing up an outdoor BBQ to keep the heat generated outside. Alternatively, you could use a slow cooker, there are an endless number of dishes that can be made with them and don’t produce anywhere near as much excess heat as that of an oven.

You should also consider unplugging other devices around your house that also generate a lot of heat when being used and on standby, like computers and TV’s.

Also, lightbulbs generate an incredible amount of heat, eco-friendly ones are much better, but they do still give off a small amount of heat. So, make the most of all the natural light in the summer, and use as few lights as possible when they are needed.

WATER BOTTLES

Frozen water bottle

Dust off that water bottle from the back of the cupboard that you thought you wouldn’t need again until that winter weather hit. Simply fill it up with tap water and leave it in the freezer, then you’ll have a giant ice pack without having to worry about it melting all over yourself and the furniture.

You could also directly freeze your bed sheets and pillowcases half an hour before you head to bed, just make too sure to wrap them up inside a plastic bag or zip lock back so as to not get the odours of frozen food going onto your sheets. This obviously won’t provide you with relief from the heat all night but will definitely make that initial getting into bed more blissful so you might be able to fall asleep.

BEDTIME

Bed

Hot air rises throughout a home, so you need to aim to be as low to the ground as possible. Try moving your mattress from off of the bed and onto the floor, or you could even go a step further if you live in a multi-story household and move your mattress downstairs.

Ditch the Duvet and just use the sheet, and if possible choose light-coloured bed linens made of lightweight cotton, as they are more breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow. Swap out your big fluffy pillow for something much lighter with less stuffing. Our heads retain heat so surrounding it with a giant pillow will prevent heat from escaping.

Believe it or not, but one of the worst things you can do when sleeping in hot weather is strip down and wear nothing. Wearing a light and loose pair of pyjamas will actually draw the sweat from off of your body helping to prevent that sticky and gross feeling.

WINDOWS

Curtains closed

Direct sunlight only serves to heat up your room and will cause that heat to linger at night. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the day will keep your room cooler and allow it to cool down more quickly when it’s time for bed. Getting some thermal-insulated blackout curtains can make this solution even better. But make sure to open all the windows to allow the air in your home to circulate and any cool breezes to run through the house. These open windows can cycle out the air in the mornings before closing them in order to keep cool. This may seem counter-intuitive, but after flushing out all the stale air in the mornings, close your windows to keep cooler for longer. Since your home is more insulated, the outside air will warm up quicker than the air in your house. (This changes after the first few hours).

Cool a whole room by hanging a wet sheet or one that has been kept in the freezer for a little while in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.

COOLING DOWN

Cooling down

Your feet and head are known for being the least insulated parts of the body, so submerging your feet within a bucket of ice-cold water will rapidly bring your body’s temperature down to a more comfortable temperature. But there are also other areas of your body that you can target for some kind of relief from the heat.

Your wrists are what are known as pulse points and, as such, heat radiates from them. By running cold water over them immediately before getting into bed, you’re reducing the impact of the heat that your wrists produce, basically anywhere where large blood vessels lie close to the skin’s surface, which will help quickly cool you down.

Pressing something cool against the back of your neck, or more accurately, against the brainstem that runs through the neck will help in circulating a cool sensation throughout your whole entire body as this is the part of the brain that senses and regulates the body temperature.

CEILING FANS

Ceiling fan

If you are fortunate enough to own a ceiling fan you may be unaware that your fan’s rotation is meant to be changed during the summer and winter months. During the summer, fan blades should be pointed upwards, usually moving in a counter-clockwise rotation, so that air can be pushed down to the floor and result in a cooler feeling room.

During the winter, fans should rotate with their blades turned downwards, in a clockwise motion. Because heat rises, warm air usually gets trapped on the ceiling, leaving you shivering down below. A properly rotating ceiling fan will help circulate air around your room in a more beneficial way.

MINT

Get that instant release from menthol or minty drinks to make the air you breathe seem way cooler than it actually is. Essential oils such as peppermint oil have natural cooling properties, which are ideal for making your body feel cooler.

Menthol can be found in most mint related products and cools you down by tricking your brain into making you feel cool. It works because there are a whole set of nerves that run from our skin to our brain to sense changes in temperature. The receptor protein that senses the changes in temperature is found in the cold-sensing nerve cells. Menthol cools you down by targeting this area, causing your skin’s cold receptor to become sensitive. Your brain receives the cold signal from your skin and that’s why you feel cold. One of the best products to use is peppermint oil as it can be used in a variety of different ways…

– Cleansing soap

– A refreshing body spritz

– Soothing body oil

– A cooling room fragrance

– In the bath

 

relaxing in the garden

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