How to stay cool in a heatwave: advice for cooling down in the heat - from ice water to lightbulbs

How to stay cool in a heatwave: advice for cooling down in the heat - as Met Office issues red weather warning

A second heatwave of the summer is said to be on the way, just weeks after the UK saw historic extreme temperatures of up to 40c.

A level three heat alert has also been issued for parts of the UK as temperatures are set to hit the mid-30s during mid-August 2022.

So, as the weather gets even hotter once more, we’re all looking for ways to keep ourselves and our homes cool.

Here is everything you need to know, and some handy tips and tricks.

Top tips for how to keep yourself and your home cool during a heatwave.

How can I keep myself cool in the heatwave?

There are a number of ways you can cool yourself down when temperatures are high.

Drink cold drinks

It might seem obvious, but if you drink cold drinks during the heatwave it will help keep you cool. This is also important for keeping you hydrated.

Take a cool shower or bath

If you have a cool shower and bath in the morning and the evening this will help to cool your body temperature down. Although it may be tempting, don’t have a shower or bath that is too cold as this could send your body in to a cold shock which is dangerous.

Use a damp cloth

If you get too warm during the day you can use a damp cloth to your neck and other pressure points on your body for a quick way to reduce your body’s temperature.

Put your feet in cold water

Research shows that putting your feet in cold water is a good way to reduce core body temperature and keep your organs working.

Choose cotton

Cotton fabrics are super breathable and help cool your body, so look for garments made of cotton when choosing your summer wardrobe.

Wear light, loose clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton too to help regulate your temperature.

It’s also a good idea to choose cotton sheets for your bed to help you have a cool and restful night’s sleep.

Use a hand-held fan

Using a hand-held fan will cool you down at a moment’s notice. Better yet, it’s portable so you can easily carry it around with you. It can refresh you anywhere, any time.

Use an ice towel

The ice towel is exactly what it sounds like - a towel which will give you an ice cold refreshing feeling in a matter of moments.

All you have to do is simply soak this special towel in water, give it a shake and in no time at all the temperature of the towel will drop and you can feel the benefits.

It can easily be transported in its own bottle, which keeps the cold in and the heat out, so you can take it with you when you’re out and about. You can buy an ice towel from Amazon for less than £10 now.

How can I keep my home cool in the heatwave?

These are some top tips for how to keep your house cool when the weather gets warm.

Keep your blinds closed, especially in south facing rooms

This is because the south side of any house will see the most hours of sunlight during the day.

If you can, it’s best to invest in blackout curtains and blinds as these are the most effective at keeping the heat out.

The added benefit of blackout blinds and curtains, of course, is that they are also the best at keeping the light out too - so you won’t be disturbed on those summer days when the sun rises early.

Close doors and seal gaps

Close doors to rooms you aren’t using to keep cool air where you need it most. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and use draught excluders to ensure the cool air can’t escape.

Open your windows at night

Closing your windows and staying inside may be a great idea for keeping cool, but when temperatures drop in the evening you may want to open your windows up to cool your home down naturally before you go to bed.

Just make sure you close the windows before you go to sleep so your house is lock and secure overnight.

Use an air conditioner or a fan

Using an air conditioner unit or a fan is the quickest way to cool down any room in your home.

If you don’t have an air conditioner in your home, then a bowl of ice is all you need to turn a fan into a cold mist machine. All you need to do is place a shallow bowl or pan of ice in front of a fan for an icy-cool breeze that won’t break the bank.

Change your lightbulbs

Incandescent light bulbs give off the most heat so switching to LED bulbs can make a difference in keeping your home cool. An added bonus is energy-efficient bulbs will also help lower your electric bill.

Avoid using the oven

If you can, avoid using the oven when the temperature is high. Turning the oven on to cook your tea to 200C is a very quick way of adding lots more heat to the room - and when it’s already really warm that’s the last thing you want.

Try to have meals that don’t require the use of the oven, and stick to other appliances like the microwave instead as they emit much less heat.

We realise that it may not be practical to have your oven turned off throughout June, July and August so if you do need to turn it on then try and use it for your evening meal rather than lunchtime so the temperature won’t be quite as warm.