How to block Heat during Heatwaves

Image by Schorsch from Pixabay, wild flowers surviving surrounded by dried, brown vegetation

New climate research in the science journal Nature* shows how dangerously under prepared northern Europe and especially the UK and Eire are for the consequences of climate change and the need to keep cool in the unprecedented hot summers that are on their way. Rather than cranking an air conditioner up to full power, we can save energy with these tips for the home. In June 2023, as temperatures soared in the UK, the demand for air conditioning rose to such an extent that coal was burned generate electricity**.

If the building accumulates heat and you can create a through-draught generally from one side of the building to the other, do so.

Draw in cooler air from windowless stairwells or hallways by opening the internal doors.

If the building is generally cooler in summer, keep door and windows closed and only open them in the evenings when outside has cooled down.

Keep curtains, blinds or shutters closed during the day.

An awning over windows is a great but expensive solution.

Put towels or blankets over the outside of the windows. Increase the effect by making them damp.

Put one-way mirror silver film over the windows (it reflects the heat).

Assuming the wet bulb temperature is below 36°C but it’s very hot, wear wet clothes.

Get an electric fan – but make sure it’s efficient

Loft ventilation and painting the roof a light colour also help.

To be able to sleep, take a luke warm shower before going to bed – not cold, not hot – just in-between.

* the Nature article

** Guardian article on coal use in summer 2023

By Adam Hardy

Zoologist at heart. Environmentalist by necessity. Stage hand, financial trader, secretary, card payments designer, software developer, fossil fuel big data warehouse consultant. Amateur psychologist. Now climate change salvage engineer.