When temperatures are high in summer, it is almost unbearable to stay indoor in houses and apartments. Here are our tips to help you endure the heat in your own home.
Because houses retain heat, they can be miserable during heatwaves. However, this doesn't mean you have to buy an air conditioner. This ultimately costs you a lot of money. An air conditioner of average size consumes the same amount of electricity in a month as a fridge-freezer combo in a whole year. In addition, the waste heat has to be removed from the air conditioner.
Most of the heat passes through the windows into our rooms. The sunlight comes through the glass easily, but heat comes in even more easily through a window. The most important strategy is then to keep the windows closed. Open them in the morning or the evening when the temperatures are cooler. Furthermore, blinds, shutters and curtains can reduce sunlight by up to 75% by reflecting light or blocking it out. Even light coloured curtains can reduce the sunlight by a quarter.
Turn off all electrical appliances that you do not use completely. Computers, televisions, etc. produce heat. On warm days, turn on only the devices that you really need. Even when the devices are on standby, they still produce heat.
Try evaporative cooling: take a towel or a duvet cover, or a cotton-rich cloth, get it wet and hang it up in the apartment. The drying process removes heat from the air, making the environment cool. This is even more effective with a small breeze, because the process speeds up. Don't open a window though, use a fan.
Note: This trick only works with dry heat. If it is muggy and the air is moist, adding more water will make the air even more heavy and sticky.
Solid flooring is your friend. Solid floors absorb heat from the air and cool the room. This only works if the floor is free of carpets. Carpets act as a thermal insulation. It is better to space them out during the summer.
A fan is a cheap alternative to air conditioning. The air causes the moisture on our skin to evaporate more quickly, cooling us down. In the evening, place your fan next to your window to draw cooler air in.
At night, the hot temperatures can be a pain if they prevent sleep. To cool down under the covers, fill a hot water bottle with cold water and place between your thighs. This allows the coolness to quickly be distributed throughout the body. Alternatively, you can put your underwear or bed sheets (in plastic bags) in the refrigerator or freezer for quick relief.
Note: do not use cold showers to cool off. They stimulate circulation, which makes us feel warm. Lukewarm water is better.