Keeping your Home Cool in Heatwaves

Woman standing in a dark room with a shaft of light illuminating her eyes - Aytam Zaker on Unsplash

Following up on a previous post, there are quite a few things you can do to keep your home cool during a heatwave. Of course if you have fans or air conditioning, you can turn that on. The irony of that though is that the climate change-induced heatwaves cause us to emit more climate change-inducing CO2. In the 2023 UK heatwave the National Grid turned on extra fossil fuelled power stations to cope with the energy demand, as did India in their 2024 heatwave.

Most heat enters buildings through windows via sunlight, so shading south-facing windows is crucial. Outside shutters are a beautiful solution, but towels clamped in place in closed windows are simplest. Making them wet also helps.

Cross ventilation is good. Open windows on opposite sides of the building and a draught will draw out hot air.

Hot water can be turned down at the boiler to a lower temperature. Few people want a hot shower in a heatwave. Any naked hot water pipes should be insulated or lagged, otherwise they function exactly like a radiator.

Fridges and freezers work extra hard in hot weather, so make sure the ventilation to the rear is good and that the grill on the back is not caked in dust. And don’t open it unless absolutely necessary.

Here’s the previous article: How to block Heat during Heatwaves

More info, especially cool ways of designing a better home:

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.