Summer is here and it’s come in with a bang! Soaring temperatures and heatwaves can make your house feel like a sauna (and not in a good way!) so today we’re going help you try to cool down your home this summer without increasing your electricity bills. In today's article, provided for idealista/news by DECO – Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor, we give you some tips that will help to ventilate your house and keep it cool.
Send your question to DECO by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 00 351 21 371 02 20.
My home is a nightmare on these hot summer days! The heat inside the house is stifling. Can you give me some advice or tips on how to make my house cooler?
We can tell you a few tricks that will help to freshen up the home environment for free without using more electricity and spending more money, so you can beat the heat at home.
There’s nothing quite as effective as closing doors and pulling the blinds or shutters when the sunshine is at its strongest. Try putting tall plants near the windows, as they also help create shade. With these simple actions, you can save about 30% on your energy bills.
Airing the house is essential. At night, we suggest that you open windows on opposite sides of the house to create a draught and refresh the interior of the house. By cooling down the walls in this way, the house will be better able to withstand high temperatures during the day. If possible, and to achieve the necessary level of ventilation in every room, repeat this several times a day whenever it isn’t so hot, like first thing in the morning and late afternoon.
Ideally, you should combine periodic intensive aeration with ventilation techniques. The air should enter through the main rooms (bedrooms and living rooms) and leave through the service rooms (kitchen and bathroom). Air can also flow under the doors and through ventilation grills, so try not to block the passage of air with rugs or furniture.
In the hottest hours, avoid doing anything that may produce heat or steam, such as cooking, ironing, smoking and using paint or glue. Try not to plug in too many appliances at the same time, such as light bulbs, televisions, computers and phone chargers.
If these tips still can't help you cope with the summer, you can invest in equipment like air conditioning units and fans, whether ceiling fans or standing pedestal fans. Shop around to find the most suitable equipment for your home and the most energy efficient options.
In the long-term and with a view to the future, you can also make some more structural changes to the property and other renovation work, depending on what kind of budget you have. If you’re thinking of doing some construction work at home to make it cooler, we suggest improving the ventilation systems.
If the house has more than one floor, with the kitchen downstairs and the bathroom upstairs, they should preferably have separate ventilation systems so that moisture and bad smells don’t pass to the upper floors.
You can also improve ventilation with openings in the blinds. Choose self-adjusting models where the slats can open and close naturally with the wind, allowing more fresh air into the house.
Another idea is to put extractors on the kitchen windows, above the cooker and in the bathroom, or put an extractor at the end of the duct on the outside of the building. Please be aware that you will need the consent of your neighbours to do this.