Handy hacks to beat the heat at home this summer

From adjusting your cooking habits to optimising airflow, keep your home cool this summer with these expert tips. By Sam Wylie-Harris.

Keeping windows open and curtains closed can help keep your home cool
Ideal Home Watercolour Canopy Leaf Green Curtains, Blinds 2go Keeping windows open and curtains closed can help keep your home cool

Much as we love blue skies and temperatures mimicking a Mediterranean climate, it’s safe to say our homes aren’t designed for sweltering hot days.

Tiled floors, stone walls, internal courtyards and ceiling fans are the stuff of holiday homes – and a far cry from our soft furnishings, carpets and draught-proofing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple and effective things you can do to maintain a pleasant indoor temperature.

Here, home expert and author, Lynsey Crombie, aka ‘Queen of Clean’ shares her top tips for when the next heatwave hits…

Switch to summer salads

Summer signals vegetarian salads
Summer signals vegetarian salads (Gourmet Stock Images / Alamy Sto/Alamy Stock Photo)

“Step away from the stove and enjoy refreshing summer salads for dinner,” suggests Crombie. “Not only are they light and nutritious, but they also help keep your kitchen cooler by avoiding the heat from cooking.”

Moreover, you can still grill meats and veggies by making the most of your BBQ – and summer sunshine.

Close blinds and curtains

Close blinds and curtains where the sun’s coming in to block out the heat, especially in bedrooms, advises Crombie. “This simple step can significantly reduce the temperature inside your home, and make sleeping more bearable.”

“Also don’t forget direct sunlight can cause furniture, flooring and other interior elements to fade or deteriorate over time – closing blinds helps to protect these items from UV damage, and prolong their lifespan.”

Avoid hot showers and baths

As Crombie points out, hot showers and baths produce steam that lingers and makes your home feel hotter.

“Go for cooler showers to stay refreshed without adding extra humidity to your living space,” she continues. “Bathrooms tend to retain heat due to the enclosed space and moisture, so when you take a hot shower, the heat can linger in the bathroom for a while, contributing to a warmer indoor environment.”

Open windows strategically

She says to open windows that aren’t in direct sunlight to allow for better air circulation. “Windows in direct sunlight can let in hot air, which will make your home warmer.”

Place fans strategically

Fans should be positioned so they circulate cool air without blowing hot air at you…

Electric fans are a life saver on hot, sunny days
Electric fans are a life saver on hot, sunny days (Volodymyr Shtun / Alamy Stock Ph/Alamy Stock Photo)

In windows: “Position fans in windows to draw cooler outside air into the house. In the evening or early morning, place a fan in a window facing outward on the hotter side of your home to expel warm air, while placing another fan in a window on the cooler side to draw in cooler air,” outlines Crombie.

Opposite windows: “If possible, place fans in opposite windows to create a cross-breeze that moves air through the room, improving ventilation and cooling.”

Add Aloe vera plants

(Natalia Savilova / Alamy Stock P/Alamy Stock Photo)

Have a few Aloe vera plants around your home, suggests Crombie. “These plants not only cool and humidify the air due to their high-water content but add a touch of greenery to your decor.

“They will also improve indoor air quality by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen. Cleaner air can feel fresher and more comfortable.”

Change your bedding

Go for lightweight, breathable sheets like cotton, linen, or bamboo, says Crombie. These natural fibres allow for better airflow and wick away moisture, helping to regulate your temperature while you sleep.

“And ditch the heavy blankets and throws you use to dress your bed – in the summer months these are just going to heat your bed up.

“Switch your duvet to a summer one, 4.5 tog or 7.5 tog are great for the summer months; and choose a natural filling like goose down or wool as these fillings are much more breathable.”

She continues: “Invest in a cooling mattress protector made from breathable materials or choose one with cooling gel technology.”

Keep a hot water bottle on hand 

“Fill a hot water bottle with cold water and place it in the freezer for a while – and use it to cool down your bed before you go to sleep.”