Sun shining through a window during a heatwave

The country’s currently in the grips of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring to over 30C in many parts of the UK.

While sun-worshippers are soaking up the sunshine, many of us are so hot and sticky that it can feel as though we’re walking around in a sauna.

Over-heated home owners may be rushing out in their droves to buy electric fans – or cranking up the air con - but what else can you do to keep your home cool in the heat?

1. Close the curtains

If you spend your days at work away from home, keep your curtains closed. This will prevent your home from heating up like a greenhouse. Only open the windows at night, when it’s cooler.

2. Fire up the barbie

Kitchens can generate a lot of heat, so step away from the stove during the heatwave and take your cooking outside. Plus there’s nothing better than a burger on the BBQ on a hot summer’s evening!

3. Avoid using appliances

Appliances can generate a lot of heat, so using them less will help keep your home cool:

  • Rather than use your tumble dryer, take advantage of the hot weather and dry clothes outside instead.
  • Do away with the dishwasher, and let plates dry in the air instead; in this heat it won’t take long.
  • Turn appliances off standby, and don’t charge phones or other devices while you’re asleep, as these can all radiate heat.
  • Try to keep the number of lights turned on to a minimum.

4. Take a cool shower

You may be hopping in and out of the shower like a crazy thing in a bid to cool down, but make sure the water is tepid rather than hot. Steam causes humidity and makes a room that much hotter.

5. Spend time downstairs

If you have a basement, now’s the time to make use of it. Basements are usually at least 10C cooler than the upstairs part of the home because hot air rises, so head down during the hottest hours of the day.

Even if you don’t have a basement, a room on the ground floor should still feel cooler than one higher up.

6. Swap your duvet for a sheet

If you’re struggling to get to sleep due to the heat, ditch your duvet and sleep under a sheet instead. Opt for light fabrics such as linen and cotton as they’re a lot cooler than satin and silk.

You could even go as far as sticking your sheets in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few minutes before going to bed.

7. Hang a wet sheet by a window

While we’re on the topic of sheets… try hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. This can help reduce the temperature of the room, making it a lot more bearable to be in.

Bonus: long-term tips to keep your home cool all year round

a. Invest in insulation

It may sound counter-intuitive, but insulation can not only stop heat from escaping from your home, it can also help to keep heat out.

By insulating your loft, you can ensure the heat stays in your attic. This may not be a measure you can install in time for the current heatwave, but it’s definitely worth considering to help keep you cool during future hot spells.

b. Get green-fingered

Another simple way to keep your home cool in the summer is by giving yourself some shade.

Once again, this is a longer-term measure as shrubs and trees will take a while to grow. But by starting now, you could have the welcome shade that you need when temperatures soar in years to come.

c. Paint your home white

This one will require a bit of planning – but if you act now, you’ll benefit in the future. By painting your house white, you can help cool your home, as the white surfaces will reflect the heat.

You could also look into investing in white curtains and blinds to help reflect heat away from your windows.

This article was written by Esther Shaw, an award-winning financial and property journalist who’s written for The Independent, The Mail on Sunday, The Telegraph, and Good Housekeeping.