Air conditioning is expensive to install and expensive to run. For a country like the UK, where we only get about 10 warm days each year, there has to be another way to stay cool. Here we give you our top tips to get by without installing a costly Air Conditioner.
Behavioural Changes to keep you cooler
Below we have listed a few ways you can do this without spending a penny!
- Use your blinds and curtains – Keep them closed during the day to block the sun’s heat from entering the house. The reason your home gets warm is due to a process known as Solar Gain and it can actually make it pretty uncomfortable, so stopping the light enter in the first place is key.
- Keep your windows open, obviously if it is a still day, this isn’t going to do too much, but hopefully by opening a window at either end of the home, you will create a cooling breeze that will travel through the home.
- Open up your chimney – Just as chimneys allow cool draughts to enter the home during winter, they also allow hot air to escape the home during summer, so if you have a chimney balloon or other temporary draught proofer, remove them for the summer months.
- Turn off unnecessary appliances – Every electrical appliance will give off heat, as will your oven. So turn off your computer, TV and tumble dryer and cook with your microwave where you can. This will make sure as little heat a possible is being generated in the home.
- If you have a heat pump, you can pump unheated water around the system, having a cooling effect on the property.
- Turn your thermostat down – your heating does not need to be on as we enter the summer months.
- Most important is to drink cold water frequently; it will help you sweat – which is the body’s natural cooling mechanism.
Measures you can install to keep you cooler
Unlike the behavioural measures we listed about, below are a few things you can do if you are will to spend some cash to keep cool!
- Switch to energy efficient lighting and products – Incandescent and halogen lighting give off most of their energy as heat – about 90% in most circumstances, so they can really warm a room up if you have them on for a long time. LED lighting converts the majority of the electricity into light, so this can really help solve the problem. They also use a fraction of the energy, so will help lower your energy bills too.
- Fans make a difference – Having fans on in a room can make it feel several degrees cooler – and they are much cheaper to run than air conditioning. Ceiling fans are even better, though more expensive, as they draw warm air up to the ceiling. You could even create a makeshift aircon system by placing a metal bowl with salted ice next to the fan – the air cools as it blows over the ice and cools the room. Fans should be turned off when not in use however, as they will have a slight warming effect in a closed room.
- Install more insulation! This is one we always talk about in the winter but insulation slows the movement of heat by creating a thermal barrier, so in the summer it can slow the movement of heat from outside into the home.
- Strategically planting trees can help shade areas of the home is also a great idea. Not only will the trees help keep you cool, they obviously recycle dirty air too.