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10 tips for cooling down your home in summer
Summer is here with the thermometer rising, and you’re wondering how to cool off a little. Heat waves are best spent in the shade of a tree, with a soft breeze. However, before you move into the forest, try these 10 easy and effective tips for keeping your home cool.
The Mediterranean way: 4 ways to keep the heat at bay
People who live near the Mediterranean are used to hot weather. To cope with it, they adapt the structure of the day to take advantage of the pleasant morning and evening temperatures. When the sun is at its hottest, they take refuge indoors.
They also use these daily fluctuations to ventilate and cool down their houses or flats. The windows are open at night and closed during the day.
To prevent the heat from getting into your home, it is best to have shutters. Otherwise, you must close the curtains. Better still, add a layer of tinted film to the windows.
Roof windows are a little more complicated to cover and yet they are brilliant at overheating attics. To protect them, there are special external blinds, which already filter out 80% of the sun’s rays.
Planning ahead: 3 things to do to keep cool on a long-term basis
In the long run, there is every possibility that high temperatures will become the norm. Now is the time to think about outdoor installations that will make a significant difference:
- install a sun awning/ canopy or Venetian blinds on the outside walls or pergola to shade the walls and openings most exposed to the sun
- grow climbing plants along the walls
- keep (or grow) a tree which is able to shade the building.
Cooling down the house: 3 ways to use water
After a week of hot weather, limiting the heat is no longer enough. The building has stored up the heat and its inertia prevents it from cooling down properly overnight. So ways must be found to create coolness. Cold water is your best ally for this.
Always look after yourself
First, remember to keep your own body cool:
- drink as much water as possible
- use a misting device
- or even take a cold shower, or at least as cold as possible.
Fans are the classic way of coping with the heat. For a really pleasant feeling, don’t just let them blow hot air around… use cold water. Simply place frozen bottles of water in front of your fan or put a towel soaked in cold water along half-open windows. Air passing close by will become cooler and cool you down.
In the same way, you can dip a mop in cold water and run it over the floor, or set up basins of cold water which will also make it feel cool.
Freshen up before going to sleep
If the heat is still oppressive at night, a few fine mist sprays of cold water on the sheets at bedtime or a hot water bottle filled with very cold water at the bottom of the bed will immediately do you a world of good.
As well as providing shade, trees cool the air through the water they evaporate. A large oak, for example, can ‘transpire’ up to 1,000 litres of water per day, but on average, on a sunny day, a birch tree evaporates 75 litres of water per day, a beech tree 100 litres and a lime tree 200 litres.