It’s roasting out there! I must say that while the rest of the planet descends on our shores, this is not my favourite time of the year, and I can understand why the gentry used to hotfoot it to the shady climes of Sintra.
So, what can we do to keep our cool in the cloying heat?
Keep the outside doors closed. If you are able to pick an eastern-facing window, place a fan on a sill or table. This will pull the cooler air into your property as it will have had less sun exposure during the second half of the day. The air from this side of the house will be significantly cooler. Don’t forget the bedroom windows. Shutters closed.
At the end of the day, when it’s time to reopen the windows and let the cool air in, don’t forget to put a fan in a window. Face the fan so it’s pulling air out, and it will vent the warm air of the day, cooling your home faster.
It’s best to use any household machines at night or early in the morning.
Hang a damp bed sheet from the top of your window in front of the fan. You will get a lovely, misty, cool breeze and by morning your sheet will be dry (spray it with cool water to maintain the cool effect). Oh yes, and keep those clothes to a minimum and make the sure the fabrics are fresh and cool like your bedding. (baby Pic)
Keep it light
Incandescent light bulbs give off warmth. If you have tried to change one after it’s been on for a while, you’ll know the massive amount of heat they create when your fingers are burnt! LED light bulbs are affordable and more energy efficient. Switching will not only reduce the heat but will save you a significant amount of money.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
Nothing heats up a house as quickly as cooking. Prepare a salad of leaves or veg and get the barbeque going. Use quick-cook foods, veg, chicken, steak or fish. Very hot weather is a time for keeping food simple. Prepare salad in the day when it’s warm and eat outside in the evening.
Time for bed
Change your bedding frequently. The best cooling bed sheets are breathable, absorbent, and wick moisture away from your body. Good choices are cotton, cotton percale and Tencel. They are both ideal fabrics for sleeping in the heat. They are woven from natural fibres (cotton is cotton, while Tencel is from the Eucalyptus tree), they breathe remarkably well, which is key for staying cool.
Top tip on tap!
As children, in the winter we used hot water bottles. What about a frozen water bottle? Just make sure the top is screwed on so that you don’t get soaked in the night as it melts. (dog on bottle)
By Karen Love
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