With London reputedly hotter than Los Angeles this week, the mini heatwave that we’ve been enjoying throughout the British Isles looks set to continue.
But why does hot weather take us all by surprise? Indeed, why does any bout of extreme weather seemingly catch us unawares in this country, where, as we all know, the weather can change at the drop of a hat?
With our unique position on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, we’re quite used to taking the brunt of the winds and rain, shielding the rest of Europe from the drizzly dourness that we all endure. However, whilst this may result in more rain, it also means milder winters than some of our continental counterparts, thanks in no small part to the Gulf Stream: a warm current that flows up from the tropics, tickling the toes of the British Isles.
All of these elements come together to keep our weather patterns fairly constant, with pleasant, if not overly hot summers, and mild, but not overly cold winters. So when, on the odd occasion, the weather does get a little extreme, we often find that we simply aren’t equipped to deal with it. For example, only 0.5% of private homes in the UK have air conditioning, as, for perhaps 360 days of the year, there is no real need. Also, most homes are heavily insulated, to keep the warmth in, which doesn’t help when you are trying to let the warmth out!
So, if you’re seriously beginning to lose your cool, here are our top 4 tips for dealing with the hot weather in your own home.
“Will you start the fans please!”
If you were a “fan” (sorry!) of the game show “The Crystal Maze” during the nineties, you can’t fail to utter these immortal words in your best Richard O’Brien voice, as your desk or tower fans make their annual pilgrimage from the loft, cupboard, shed or garage.
Whilst the last thing you’ll want to do is run around collecting gold or silver tokens, there are ways in which you can use your own skill to get the very most out of your fans.
Set up your desk fan, opposite an open window. This will create a cross flow and will also help amplify any cooling breezes that happen to find their way into your home.
Better still, why not hire an air conditioning unit? For a small amount of cold hard cash, you can afford to chill out a little.
Put your sheets in the fridge
Whilst we all use refrigerators to keep our food and drink nice and chilled, they can be turned to other uses. One way to help you sleep better at night is to fold your bed sheets and pillowcases up, stick them in a plastic bag, and put them in the fridge for a few hours.
Now, this may sound a little extreme, but a warm bed can be one of the key factors that prevent a good night’s sleep, especially during the summer months. Just make sure you don’t have any strong smelling foodstuffs open in your fridge. Cool bedding is nice, but smelling strongly of onion isn’t!
Unplug your devices
If working in an office during the summer has taught us anything, it’s that computers and electronic devices, when used for any long period, give off heat. Add humans into the mix and you’re left with a space that gets hotter and hotter throughout the day.
The same can be said of your home. If you use computers or keep appliances such as TVs on standby, they will all generate their own degree of warmth. So try to use them less during the day, and make sure you fully unplug everything at night.
Keep sunlight to a minimum
As a supplier of high quality blinds, it would be remiss of us not to mention the very thing we sell! Of course, one key way to keeping your home cool during the heatwave, is to use blinds on your windows.
With Venetian blinds, you can set the angle of the slats, so that sunlight doesn’t penetrate directly into your room and dazzle you. Unlike thick, material curtains, blinds are a lot thinner, meaning you can keep your windows open and enjoy cooling breezes, whilst allowing warm air to escape.
If you really want to keep your interiors cool, why not choose a blackout roller blind? They are designed to shut out 100% of sunlight and are perfect if you have trouble with early morning sunlight waking you up. You can also choose from a range of summer colours, which will brighten up your decor.