With heat waves predicted and a sunny summer ahead of us, heat can make life difficult if we’re not prepared for it. Here are some ways to get your home, your pets and yourselves ready for a long hot August…
COOLING YOUR HOME
There are so many things you can do to keep your home cool in the hot weather so here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Keep curtains and blinds drawn on very sunny days. If you have a window without curtains or a blind, maybe you should consider getting one. This will prevent the suns rays from penetrating as far into your rooms and will help to keep the spaces cooler.
- Now’s the time to invest in a desk fan if you don’t already have one. It’s the only way I can stand working in my home office over the summer. And don’t forget that you can move it around the house with you and it’ll be lovely to cool the bedroom at night.
- Open windows on opposite sides of the house to encourage cross-ventilation. Although it might not feel like there’s much of a breeze outside, you’ll notice the difference when the air is sucked from one open window at the front to another at the back.
- If you have air conditioning, lucky you! But make sure it’s working correctly and replace the air filter before the hot weather comes. The last thing you want is a poorly-functioning unit when the weather suddenly heats up.
- If you have ceiling fans, now is the time to use them. Again, you won’t necessarily feel a breeze coming directly from the fan but it helps to circulate the air, sucking the hot air up and away from you. Just make sure they’re going in the right direction – the opposite will push hot air down onto you!
I don’t know about you, but I overheat really easily. Other than staying out of the sun and in a cool spot in your home, here are some other things you can do to survive the soaring temperatures:
- Wear what you feel comfortable in, and prioritise natural fibres such as cotton or linen. These help to wick moisture away from the body, helping you to stay naturally cooler.
- At night-time the heat can really affect your sleep so take that duvet off the bed and replace it with a lightweight cotton sheet to help you stay cool overnight.
- Bringing down your temperature can be aided by putting a cool, wet flannel on your neck. I usually put damp flannels in the freezer for an hour or two and then it’s SO refreshing when you use them.
- Always stay hydrated by drinking of fluids and avoiding excess alcohol. Dehydration and heat exhaustion or heatstroke go hand in hand so be mindful of how much water you are taking in.
- Avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. If you would usually get hotter while exercising anyway, you’ll definitely overheat if you are too active during the hot middle of the day.
COOLING YOUR PETS
Heatstroke is a real concern for pets in the summer, especially when the temperate suddenly jumps up. It’s definitely an important time to keep an eye on your animals – especially very fluffy ones – and make sure they are comfortable in the hot weather:
- Provide plenty of water so that your pet can always stay hydrated. This goes for all animals, from hamsters and rabbits to dogs and horses. And you can add ice cubes to their water bowls to help them cool down.
- Shade is also important. If you wouldn’t want to be in the scorching hot sun and would rather be sitting in the shade, then the same will be the case for your pets. Keep dogs and cats indoors and in the cool as much as possible.
- When taking dogs for walks, make sure it’s at the cooler times of day. Go for a lovely fresh morning walk or wait until the heat of the day has gone in the evening.
- Never leave animals in conservatories, outbuildings, caravans or cars on a sunny day – the internal temperature can rise rapidly and be deadly to animals.
- Damp towels feel lovely to lie on for cats and dogs (and maybe even humans!) and will help them to cool off.
Finally, just take it easy. Don’t try to do too much, and if you’re struggling to complete a task in the heat, take a break to cool off. Have a drink of cold water and rest – preferably in a lovely hammock!
What else do you do to stay cool in the summer? Let me know your tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear your hacks for surviving the long hot August that’s on its way. Thanks!
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