How to keep your home cool in summer

How to keep your home cool in summer

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

Keeping cool when the hot weather hits isn't always easy. Whether you're looking for a portable or split air conditioner, a fan or air cooler, or just a few tips and tricks to take the edge off, there are lots of ways to cool down your home in summer. Read on to find out how to keep your house cool over the warmer months.

Important features

  • Fans
  • Air coolers
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Window air conditioners
  • Split air conditioners
  • Tips for keeping homes cool
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Keep your home cool all summer long

Keep your home cool all summer long

If you're hoping to keep your home cool in the height of a heatwave it's important to form a few basic habits. When it comes to cooling equipment, there's a range of options available, but it's important to pick the right system for the room you need to cool and for your home as a whole. Here's a round-up of the most popular choices:

  • fans work for any room; choose between pedestal, free-standing, designer, tower and ceiling fans.

  • air coolers will only work for small spaces;

  • portable air conditioners and window air conditioners are best suited to flats;

  • split air conditioners are better for houses.

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Fans: keep the air moving

Fans: keep the air moving

Fans have become something of a summer essential in recent years. Designed to generate a regular current of air, a fan will increase the air flow throughout your room. There are several different types of fans to choose from:

  • pedestal fans: ideal for providing air flow at a height, these fans are easy to set up in a living room or kitchen. You can also find models with a remote control.

  • desktop fans: perfect for a bedroom or smaller space, these oscillating fans will circulate air throughout the whole room;

  • tower fans: these fans move ambient air from top to bottom which improves their cooling performance;

  • bladeless fans: a bladeless fan features a modern design and is a safer option if you have children. These models blend in perfectly in contemporary or minimalist-style homes;

  • ceiling fans: most ceiling fans are multipurpose in that they function as a light but also feature blades around the fixture to create a downdraft.

Air cooler: an economical alternative to a fan

Air cooler: an economical alternative to a fan

More efficient than a fan, but cheaper than an air conditioner, an air cooler can be used to keep rooms at a pleasant temperature.

Warm air is drawn in by the air cooler where it passes through a moist filter which transforms it into cool air. Particularly effective when the air is dry, air coolers can only be used to cool rooms measuring a maximum of 30 m². However, this option is much more environmentally friendly than an air conditioner as these devices use much less energy.

Air coolers are therefore a great choice for a flat or a small living space. Just bear in mind that they are not air conditioners and simply don't match up in terms of cooling performance.

Portable air conditioners: cooling on the move

Portable air conditioners: cooling on the move

Some portable air conditioners may require you to pass one or two hoses through a window or air vent while others are compact machines. As the name suggests, you can move these devices around with you as you switch rooms. There are a few different criteria to weigh up when choosing a portable air conditioner:

  • the size of the room you want to cool;

  • the noise level of the device;

  • the energy efficiency class of the device.

Most portable air conditioners can be programmed and come with a remote control. Some models are also fitted with a fan to spread the cool air more quickly throughout your space.

A powerful air conditioner can cool up to 120 m².

Window air conditioners: an option for smaller spaces

Ideal for flats and hotels, window air conditioners can be used to lower the temperature of small rooms.

  1. A horizontal air conditioner works best for sliding and sash windows.

  2. If you have hinged windows go for a vertical model.

Window air conditioners come with brackets and are easy to install in window frames. However, these air conditioners can only really be used as an occasional cooling system as they are much noisier than other devices. It's also important to note that a room that gets full sun for most of the day will be very difficult to cool with a window air conditioner.

Split air conditioner: efficiency guaranteed

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Split air conditioners are the most expensive option and demand the most care in terms of installation. However, they are by far the most effective devices. Split air con is made up of two elements: an outdoor unit which is used to remove warm air and a wall-mounted indoor unit which returns cooled air to the room. Thinking about investing in a reversible air conditioning system? Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • room size;

  • noise level;

  • energy efficiency rating;

  • design.

Bear in mind that your split air conditioner – or any other cooling device for that matter – will work much better if your home is properly insulated. As a rough guideline, remember that an air conditioner needs to be able to supply about 100W per square metre to perform its role properly.

5 tips for a cooler home

Silent or sleep mode

Here are five tips to keep your house or flat cool throughout the summer:

  1. Open your windows at night and very early in the morning, and close them during the warmest part of the day.

  2. Try to limit the number of times you open your doors during the daytime to prevent warm air from entering the home.

  3. Place frozen bottles of water in front of your fans and you're sure to feel the difference – the air should become very cool and pleasant.

  4. Place damp washing in front of a window at night. This should help to keep cool air indoors and help you get a quiet and restful sleep.

  5. Avoid turning on the oven or any other device that emits heat during the hottest hours of the day.

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Guide written by:

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

Tess, painting & decorating consultant, Brighton

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