Life & Design

How to keep your home cool in the heatwave – in preparation for the rising temperatures

Temperatures are set to high this season and beyond

How to keep cool
(Image credit: Future / Jon Day)

Wondering how to keep cool in the heatwave? With temperatures set to sore this summer, we've compiled a list of the best to beat the heat and stay cool.

How to keep cool in a heatwave

'With the US weather being so unpredictable, we are never fully ready for when a big heatwave hits,' says Lucy Askew, spokesperson for Hillarys. 'These quick tips will help keep you cool whilst you are at home and you won’t need to spend any money doing it.'

1. Use window treatments to block out sunlight

Window treatment ideas

(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

Keeping your house cool is essential during a heatwave and, if you find that your house lets in direct sunlight, especially in the afternoon, you could find that conditions quickly become unbearable. If your house does experience more sunlight throughout the day then it’s recommended you keep your curtains, shutters and blinds shut to stop the sunlight from beaming into your home. This will keep things marginally cooler and slightly more bearable during heatwaves.

See: Window treatment ideas – ways with curtains, blinds and shutters for every room

2. Stay hydrated 

How to keep your home cool in a heatwave

(Image credit: Future / Max Attenborough)

It’s imperative that you drink plenty of water during any heatwave; keep your fridge stocked up with bottled water and consider putting some in the freezer that you can use as ice blocks for when the temperature reaches its peak in the afternoon. It is important to keep your body hydrated so you do not end up suffering from heat stroke or dehydration headaches and migraines.

3. Have warm showers

She-shed ideas

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

A lot of people think that cold showers will help to keep you cool but in fact, warm showers are actually far more effective in cooling you down when your body temperature is running hot. A warm (not hot) shower will initially feel worse than a cold shower but, because a freezing cold shower shrinks the appearance of pores, within a few minutes of taking the shower you will end up feeling warmer than you did beforehand as your initial core temperature releases.

See: Shower room ideas – looks and layouts for a bathroom focused on the shower

4. Drink tea and coffee

Industrial home

(Image credit: Molly Haas)

Whilst you may crave a nice cold drink during a heatwave, it has been said that drinking hot drinks like tea or coffee will actually counteract the heat and cool your body quicker than cold drinks. This is because the hot drink will raise your core temperature which causes your blood to head towards your skin, causing you to sweat and ultimately cooling you off.

5. Splash your wrists and ankles with cold water

Pool landscaping ideas with deck

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton Photography)

There are pressure points on your wrists and ankles, so if you are feeling hot, why not try a DIY pool idea by filling up a bowl with cold water and rest your wrists and ankles in it. The rest of your body will quickly cool and you won’t need to splash out any money on a paddling pool for the garden.

What's more, don't forget to wear SPF – even if you plan to stay indoors.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. 

Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.