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Ten ways to stay your cool in your home during a heatwave

Energy expert Ron Fox suggests 10 ways to make life more pleasant now and three long-term plans ready for the next heatwave.

  1. Sleep easy: Because hot air rises sleeping on the ground floor will be cooler. For those living in a ground-floor apartment make a bed on the floor. Also, use cooler linen and cotton sheets rather than satin and silk ones and place them in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of minutes before putting them on the bed.
  2. Don’t bottle out: Filling a hot water bottle with cold water and then putting it in the freezer for a sort time provides a perfect ice pack for sleepers.
  3. Curtains to daylight: It may seem illogical to close the curtains and blinds during the day, but the sun coming through the windows heats the room up whereas shutting out the rays makes the home cooler. Don’t open the windows during the day but at night to give the house a good airing when temperatures have dropped.
  4. Don’t get steamed up: If you have a shower to cool down ensure the water is tepid as rising steam makes the house hotter.
  5. Make light work of electricity bills: Switch off all lights during the day and use the sunlight. Light bulbs give off heat so switch to low energy light bulbs which produce less heat.
  6. Log off: The same is true of electronic devices such as laptops, which also generate warmth. Also do not charge them overnight so as to keep the home cooler. Switching them all off reduces the heat and your energy bill. Finally, make sure the backs of fridges and freezers have plenty of ventilation space as these appliances can pump a lot of unnecessary heat into a residence.
  7. Be a fan of the fan: As hot air rises put your fan on the floor and point it upwards. Putting a bowl of icy water by the fan speeds up this cooling process.
  8. A whiter shade of pale: Painting the outside of your house white helps cool the house down as it reflects the sunlight.
  9. Dig into the garden: Planting trees and shrubs around the home will provide much-needed shade and cooler temperatures.
  10. Insulate your home: Many people think insulation only keeps the house warm. But it also helps keep the heat out once a room has cooled down.

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