In the UK, we aren’t often best equipped to deal with the more extreme temperatures we’ve been noticing the past few years. This summer, we’re set to experience a number of heatwaves – some of which will last a bit longer than many of us can cope with. As July rolls in, we’re forecast a 32 degree heatwave that might last around a week.
As the hotter weather comes in, we’ve been thinking of some ways we can cool down. Air conditioning and fans are an obvious answer, but with energy costs on the up – we’re looking for more inventive ways to get through the summer months.
Here’s our guide on how to improve airflow through your home this summer, without ending up with huge energy bills. There are plenty of ways you can implement these techniques at home, improving airflow through your house so you have a cooler respite to seek some shade in.
Opening Windows & Doors
It seems like an obvious idea to open a window or door to cool down if you’re inside. However, opening just one window won’t do much. The warm air needs somewhere to flow towards. The most effective way to keep hot air out is to aim for a natural cross flow effect.
This is achieved by opening windows and doors on opposite sides of each room or house. You want the air to be able to pass through the entire house, so keep any doors to rooms open with a doorstop. This improves indoor air circulation, cooling down the temperature throughout your rooms as the air flows freely through them.
This method of ventilating and cooling the home will work best if you can create a direct cross flow, where air has a free, straight path to flow through. However, many homes are built in ways that mean this isn’t possible. You can still cool the house by opening opposite windows and doors. But there are more ways to achieve an effective, natural cooling system.
Achieve the ‘Chimney Effect’
This chimney effect technique improves ventilation in your home, which has the added bonus of expelling virus particles out of your house. This technique uses windows, stairways, doors, and ceiling vents in your home to allow warm air to filter up and out through the roof vent. Hot air rises, so this is a natural way to redirect warmer air out of the house.
Stay cool (and safe) by following these steps:
- Consider the layout of your home and how you can influence the flow of warm air upwards and out.
- Find the coolest, lowest side of your house and open the nearest window.
- Look for the hottest, highest side of the house and open a window there.
- You can also place a fan (pointing outwards) in front of the window, drawing warm air out of the house.
This technique has been effectively used in hotter climates throughout history – as a natural cooling method, it still works!
Consider the Design of Your Windows
If your home is unbearably hot this summer, you might want to think about how your windows are limiting these cooling effects. Different window designs work to impact the flow of air in various ways, so consider this if you’re struggling to cool your home.
With casement windows, you can adjust the direction the breeze flows through your home. Bay windows mean you can optimise the flow of the incoming air, by allowing it to enter the home from both directions.
Velux windows make a great replacement ‘chimney’ to help you achieve the chimney effect. Since they’re placed high up in the home, they’re ideal for exploiting the fact that hot air rises. Open your Velux window as wide as possible, and the hotter air will naturally flow through this highest point.
- To improve how fast the air moves through your home, you can close the lower windows so a little so that the opening is smaller.
- You might need to figure out the best way to do this over time. The optimal method for the chimney effect will change throughout the day as the direction of the wind and the weather shift.
- Also note that you shouldn’t just haphazardly open all windows and doors at once, and hope for the best. The chimney effect requires a dedicated flow of air from the lower areas of the house to the highest, warmest areas.
- Try to make air flow through the whole house if you’re looking to cool down. Getting the chimney effect to work in one room is not as effective as flowing the air throughout the entire house.
Keep Your Home Cool with Cloudy2Clear
Another thing to keep in mind is the quality of your windows. If you have any windows or doors that need repairing, you’ll struggle to optimise the airflow through your home to get that cooling effect. Any gaps in the sealing around your double glazed fixtures means air can enter (and leave) the house, meaning there won’t be a clear flow of air to cool down.
As the weather heats up, we’d recommend checking your double glazing is in perfect working order. Note that if you do find any issues, having your double glazing repaired as soon as possible important. Failed double glazing can lead to a whole wealth of other issues like condensation and damp. In the long run, these can end up being more costly than a simple repair.
Let us help insulate your home and keep your family cool this summer. At Cloudy2Clear, we offer free consultations and zero-obligation quotes, so everything is clear regarding exactly how much our services will cost. Fill out our online contact form with any issues or concerns you have about your windows and doors, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. You can also get in touch with our team now by calling 0800 61 21 119.