A spate of hot, dry summers have caused many Londoners to consider air conditioning for their homes. We take a look at four smart, easy ways to make sure your home is naturally cool without splashing out on expensive new equipment.
Position your fans
Okay, so using an electric fan when it's hot isn't groundbreaking advice. But are you positioning them for maximum effect? Fans can be used to either circulate air within the room, blow cool air into the room or suck hot air out of it.
Position your fan facing out of an open window to suck hot air out of the room and draw fresh air into the room (use extraction fans in kitchens or bathrooms to get the air moving too). If you can, position your fan high up to target the warmer layers of air higher in the room. Alternatively, having the fan blowing cooler air into the room increases the evaporative cooling effect on your skin. However, if it's humid as well as hot, this will limit the chill effect by limiting the level of evaporation. Check below for reducing humidity!
When it's muggy we suffer because our body's main method for dumping excess heat is impaired. We sweat so that water on our skin evaporates and we benefit from the resulting cooling effect. When the air is humid, less water can evaporate from our skin, so we feel hotter.
Buying a dehumidifier is a cheaper option than investing in a full-on air conditioner. It can also be handy in the winter for controlling any damp issues or for helping to dry wet washing. However, an even cheaper (and more attractive) option is to buy cacti and succulent houseplants. These draw moisture from the air and reduce humidity, creating a more comfortable home.
Blinds and curtains
A major cause for overheated rooms is the sunlight that pours in through windows during the hotter times of the day. Keep blinds or curtains at least partially drawn during the day to reduce this influx of heat.
Open them up again in the evening, or when the temperature outside drops. Then move onto the next slide for your next step...
Check whether the air is cooler outside than in your home, and if it is, open doors and windows to create a channel for air to move in one direction through your home. If you're lucky enough to have bi-folding doors like the home above, put them to use! Increase cool airflow by using fans in windows and doorways as directed previously.
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