With the UK currently experiencing a mega heatwave, I think we all can agree we aren't quite built for swealtering weather. Summer in the UK might mean trips to the park and afternoons spent lounging around the garden with an Aperol Spritz in hand, but for a lot of flatmates it also means something else: hot flat hell. Ever returned home after work only to find your room resembles the inside of an oven and no amount of window opening/ fan blasting will cool it down? Yep, we've all been there.
We all know there’s nothing worse than sticky, restless nights and unbearably humid days - luckily we’ve got some handy tips to help keep your flat cool this summer...
1. Draw your curtains
It might seem counterintuitive, but trust us. When all you want to do is fling open your curtains and bask in the sun’s rays, resist! Keep your windows and curtains closed at the hottest part of the day (or leave them shut when you head off for work) to prevent the sunlight and hot air streaming in. Reopen in the evening to let the cool air in. You’ll thank us later.
Switch up your bedding come the summer months to not only give your flat a fresh look, but also to make bedtimes a lot more bearable. Invest in cotton bedding with a low thread count - the material is less tightly woven together and so better at circulating air. What’s more, if you normally sleep with memory foam bedding, ditch it. The dense material is energy absorbing, meaning you’re more likely to wake up glued to the sheets than with a traditional mattress/ pillow.
3. Black out
Fun fact: blackout curtains reduce the amount of heat transferred via windows by 24%, so get investing! Better still, you won’t be woken by the blinding sunlight when day breaks at the ridiculous hour of 5am. Dunelm has a range of blackout curtains in loads of chic colours and styles.
4. Get low
If you have the option, sleep on a lower level of the house. Hot air rises, meaning bedrooms on higher floors often bear the brunt of the heat. You may want to keep living room sleepovers for nights when the heat is really unbearable though - you don’t want to startle your housemates in the morning...
5. Crack out the BBQ
Cooking up a hearty stew is probably the last thing you want to do anyway, but it’s worth mentioning that keeping oven and hob use to a minimum will significantly reduce the heat inside your flat. Get the BBQ out and invite some mates round for some alfresco dining. Don’t have access to an outdoor area? Opt for meals that require minimal cooking, or failing that, in true British style - go out for picky bits and tinnies in the park with mates!
6. Invest in a chillow
Is it an ice pack? Is it a pillow? No, it’s a chillow! As the name probably explains, a chillow is a cool gel pillow, ideal for placing inside your pillowcase to prevent the manic pillow-flipping-over routine that seems to be a nightly occurrence. Pop it in your freezer for 15 minutes before bed and feel yourself whisked away to a refreshing oasis. This one from Amazon is under a tenner!
7. Cool off
Take a cold shower. Aside from the obvious benefit of cooling your body temperature and leaving you feeling super fresh, colder water produces less steam than hot, preventing your flat from becoming an actual sauna. Showering in cold water is actually even more beneficial than you think, did you know it closes the pores on your scalp which makes your hair less vulnerable to grease, oil and dirt? Result!
8. Cover it up
Does your black leather sofa burn your legs when you sit down? Putting white fabric covers over your furniture is an effective way to prevent them retaining heat, as well as giving your living room a more summery vibe.
9. Hydration station
Leaving the most obvious til last, stay hydrated! It's simple yet key - drinking plenty of water will cool down your body temperature and keep you functuting properly through the summer months. Chuck in some ice with mint and lemon for a super refreshing beverage.