Cheap ways to keep cool in the heat
A bit of hot weather is great every now and again, but what can you do when it all gets a little too much? To help you survive the summer, we’ve compiled our top tips for staying cool in the heat.
We wait all winter for some sunny weather, and as soon as a heatwave comes around, we moan that it’s too hot. But, to be fair, it is too hot at the moment.
If you ask us, the optimum conditions during the day would be 25°C (with a cool breeze). Then, at night, we like the temperature to drop below 15°C to allow for some sleep.
Sadly, the weather just doesn’t play ball sometimes, and instead, we’ve had to get creative in order to survive.
How to stay cool in a heatwave
Here are some simple ways to cope with the hot weather:
1. Make a homemade air con unit
Although public places in the UK often have air conditioning, it’s rare to have it in your home. AC units are expensive. However, making your own budget air-con is actually pretty easy. Ross and Paula suggested freezing a bottle of water and placing it in front of a fan. This should produce a similar, if slightly less effective, result to air conditioning. This method works just as well with a bowl of ice placed in front of a fan. But make sure the bowl and fan are placed on a steady surface. That ice will soon turn to water, and we all know what will happen if that meets an electrical item…
2. Wear light, loose clothing in a heatwave
Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors. So, during a heatwave, you’ll feel a lot cooler if you stick to white (or other light-colored) garments.’ Light’ is also the way to approach your clothes’ fitting and material. It helps to wear loose t-shirts, shorts, and dresses made out of cotton or linen. They’ll feel much airier than tight, denim clothes.
3. Don’t sleep naked
It might be tempting to strip off when your room is warm. But, sleeping in your birthday suit might not actually help. Clothes will draw the sweat off your body, keeping you from feeling too sticky. Wearing a thin, baggy pair of pajama bottoms (without tight underwear) should keep you cooler overnight.
4. Drink hot drinks and soup
First, we tell you that sleeping naked will make you warmer, and now we’re saying that drinking hot drinks will make you feel cooler. But stick with us, as science proves us right on this one. According to one, drinking a hot drink causes you to sweat. This actually outweighs the fact that the drink will initially raise your internal temperature slightly. But, this trick only works on a dry day.
5. Open your windows and doors, close the curtains
Flooding your room with natural light is all well and good – but at what cost? Direct sunlight will heat up your room even more, so by closing the curtains you’re blocking off the worst offender. Your next step should be to open up your windows to allow the air in your home to circulate. Nobody wants a stuffy house, and on the off chance that there’s a cool breeze outside, you’ll want to catch some of it indoors. And, to aid the airflow, keep the internal doors of your house open (not the external doors – you want to avoid being distracted. As long as you trust your housemates, keeping your bedroom door slightly open overnight should help you keep cool while you sleep.
6. Soak a towel, t-shirt, or sheet in cold water
This tip comes courtesy of Natalie in our Facebook group, who suggested taking a wet towel to bed. In her own words, having tested it out in a hotel, it was “bliss”.Lizzie also suggests running cold water over a sheet, wringing it out, and laying underneath it at night. It’ll help to cool you down, and as it should be dry by the morning, you can quite literally rinse and repeat. You can adapt this tip for use during the daytime, too. Just take an old t-shirt (you won’t want to ruin the shape of one you like) and run it under some cold water. Wring it out to get rid of the excess water, and then either drape it over your shoulders or wear it as normal. Bliss!
7. Use an ice pack or create your own
Got a hot water bottle? Perfect! Take that fluffy cover off it and fill it with ice and/or cold water. That should keep your feet (or wherever else you choose to apply it) nice and cool long enough for you to get to sleep. If you don’t have a hot water bottle, don’t panic. Freezer blocks or ice packs work just as well (if not better). You can pick up a multipack on Amazon for just a few quid. And when you’re not using them to keep yourself cool, you can use them to refrigerate your food for a picnic in the sun.
8. Point your fan out of the window
This last tip has really divided the Save the Student office. But our student money expert, Jake, is adamant it works. Annoyingly, science seems to be on his side. We’ll share the details with you so you can give it a go yourself. While aiming the fan at yourself may be the most immediately refreshing option, it won’t do much to cool the room down. Instead, by aiming your fan out of the window, you’ll be blowing hot air out of the room and replacing it with cold air from outside.