WITH the Met Office recently releasing an extreme heat weather warning for parts of the UK, plenty of people are struggling to keep cool.
Fortunately, members of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk had plenty of tips to avoid overheating – without spending too much in the process.
Get in the shower
Dousing yourself in water can work wonders during a heatwave, especially if you’re about to go to bed. Ann Law recommends having a cool shower before going to bed, and Natasha Evans agrees.
“A cold shower before bed not only cools you down but slows your heart rate, meaning you fall asleep better and feel more relaxed.” Joanna Walsh advises: “Take a cool shower, wash your hair and let it dry – that keeps you cool for a while.”
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “There are many benefits to taking a shower before bed, especially when it’s a cool one during hot weather. They can free the mind if you’ve been stressed – it’s unlikely you’ll be thinking about work problems while you’re under a cold jet of water!
“Plus, your blood circulation will be improved. The Ancient Romans would finish off their baths with a cold session, so we can take a leaf out of their book.”
Freeze your water
We know the comfort a hot water bottle can provide during the colder months, so why not put this theory into reverse and make yourself a cold one for the summer? Natasha Evans recommends putting a hot water bottle in the freezer to place at your feet in bed at night.
Marget Carole agrees, saying: “Put hot water bottles in the freezer. When they’re frozen, wrap them in a tea towel and place them in your bed at least an hour before getting in. It cools the mattress down.”
If you don’t have a hot water bottle, making use of a plastic bottle can work just as well.
“Putting an ice pack or frozen bottle of water in front of the fan makes it cooler,” Gavin Elouise chipped in.
Corbyn Jones also agreed with putting a block of ice in front of the fan, while Toni Jervis shared her routine of having the fan on for an hour using this method.
Sarah Tomlin is well versed in the frozen water bottle method: “Freeze a large empty Coke bottle, don’t fill it to the top then squeeze the bottle til the water is at the top and put the lid on (getting rid of the air and having the bottle a bit crushed from squeezing it will give room for the water to expand as it turns to ice.)
“Cover it then cuddle it, trying to make sure at least one wrist is on the bottle. This has definitely helped me to keep cooler.”
Use a pet cooling mat
Cooling mats don’t have to just be for your furry friends, as plenty of people have discovered. Duana Adamson recommends placing them under your bedsheets, saying they work a charm.
Meanwhile, Anne Scruton said: “I use them, I buy the extra large, they take up the bottom of the bed and it’s lovely for my feet.”
Jenni McKean makes use of cooling gel bed sheets, and Amanda Holness advised that cooling towels work well: “They stay lovely and cool for ages. Also they are long, so I lay it on me and it keeps me really cool.”
Maggie Donald described cooling mats for pets as “the way to go”, adding; “put them under the bedsheets, it’s brilliant.”
Similarly, Lee Wood advised: “Buy a large pet cooling blanket, cover it with a towel and you’ll sleep for a good few hours. It helps, believe me it works. They’re available at B&M or other outlets.”
Get the right products
Spending a little more on a product designed to help with warmer weather can end up paying for itself over time. On the more expensive end of the scale is air conditioning, which Sue Edgehill uses. Another option is pillows – Tracy Thorpe got one from Dunelm. “I use the Temperature Reactive Memory Foam Firm-Support Pillow.”
Some people have had success with cooling towels and mats. Danielle Long said she uses sports cooling towels.
“You dampen them and they keep you cool.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth Meaney found an option on the cheap. “I bought a cooling mat for £2.99 from Home Bargains. Pop it in the fridge, then it fits in a pillowcase or under your bed sheet. I bought two. They’re excellent in the car behind your back when the seats are hot off the sun as well.”
Alternatively, Danielle suggested one of the cheapest solutions: “Keep a spray bottle of water next to the bed – damp skin is cooling.”
Don’t be afraid to keep the fan on
It’s easy to avoid leaving the fan on due to fears your electricity bills will skyrocket, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Clare Neil advised: “To have a fan on all night doesn’t actually use as much electricity as you think, I have 5 running all night and it costs about 30 – 50p.”
Similarly, Sarah McKinnon pitched in: “I use my fan – according to my smart meter it cost us about 10p to have 2 on for 6 hours last night. It’s the whole reason I own fans, and it’ll only be for a few nights a year. My heating costs a lot more.” Michelle Smith agreed: “I do have a fan on all night – I have it blowing on my face. I really don’t think it costs much electricity.”
Sarah Cutler had a top tip to check how much electricity you’re using with a fan: “Google any site with your fan wattage and it will say how much per hour electric items cost to run.”
Alternatively, Anouska Uprichard shared her formula for calculating electricity use: “Leaving a fan on all night isn’t expensive. A 70 watt one only uses 0.07p…see what the fan’s wattage is and divide by 1000.”
Joanna Kilroy recommended taking control of when you’re running the fans at bedtime: “Have the fans on a timer for about 1.5 to 2 hours. You will generally have gone to sleep by then so you don’t notice how hot you are. If we wake up in the night we do the same again.”
Keep your home well ventilated
Making use of your windows and curtains can work wonders during a heatwave. Toni Jervis said she doesn’t open her curtains during the day, while Joanne Halstead keeps on top of her schedule for blinds and windows: “Keep them closed during the day so no hot air gets in and open them once the sun goes down.”
Thomas Usher advised: “Leave your windows open at opposite sides of the house and all of your doors. Let the through draft flow.”
Tom said: “Keeping your home ventilated will make a big difference as temperatures soar. Small tricks such as closing the curtains during the day will also have an impact on the overall heat levels in a room.”
Get the water out
If you don’t have time to take a cold shower, soaking a flannel in water can also work well. Nikki Lee said she uses a wet flannel on her head: ‘Works every time.’ Nathan King is also a fan of this method: “Use cold flannels on your pulse points. It cools the blood as it circulates.”
Carla Chilley has a specific routine for her flannels: “Put a wet flannel in a zip lock bag, then put it in the fridge or freezer. Have one on your feet and one for your head – should cool you down.”
Getting your bedsheets wet also works. Sarah Tomlin shared that she tends to “wet a sheet and use that as a cover,” with Maz Collins agreeing: “The cheapest way to stay cool at night is to get a towel, soak and wring it out and use it as a blanket. It’s cheap and easy and it works.” Jade Montague admitted: “I wet a towel and throw it on myself with the fan on me.”
Carla and Danielle got proactive with water-based routines: “Hang a cold, wet sheet across the window. It cools down the air as it comes in,” Carla said, while Danielle revealed: “I wet my hair before bed and throughout the day – it keeps me cooler.”
Fill bowls with ice
Fill up bowls with water and ice, place them around the house to cool it down – especially if you put them in front of fans.
If you have to open windows, open a couple at opposite sides of the house to boost air flow.
This creates a through-draft.
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