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UK heatwave hacks: Keep cool this week with these 7 surprising tips

Christian Hopewell, Senior Digital Content Producer for Expert Reviews, lazes on his porch with a pedestal fan in the foreground

This week is going to be a scorcher – here’s how you can stay cool without breaking the bank

Brace yourselves – a heatwave is on its way to the UK this week. Temperatures are expected to soar to 27°C and while some will welcome the sun after a surprisingly cold and wet spring, many will be wondering how to keep themselves from burning up in the heat.

Thankfully, these nifty life hacks will help keep you and your home comfortable in the sweltering heat. So, whether you plan on taking a busy day trip out and about, or relaxing at home, you’ll be able to stay cool as a cucumber.

1. Makeshift air conditioning

Air conditioning units are expensive and many Brits consider them to be far more hassle than they’re worth, especially when we only get two weeks-or-so of sun every year. Luckily, you can make a pretty decent makeshift air conditioner at home using things you probably have lying around your house.

Grab any standard fan and some frozen ice-packs and attach the ice packs to the front grille of your fan using string. If you don’t have ice packs and string to hand, you can also set the fan to static mode and place a bowl of iced water in front of it. This should cool down the air the fan is circulating, giving you a refreshing breeze while the ice melts.

Alternatively, if you’re currently fan-less and don’t mind spending out, you could invest in a fan that automatically emits a cooling mist. The Shark Flexbreeze portable fan is both highly portable and suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. It also has a misting attachment, which can cool outdoor spaces by up to 5°C – perfect if you’re planning a sunny BBQ or want to chill out in the sun without overheating.

2. Keep blinds closed

Sun-drenched homes are a real luxury in the UK but when it’s baking hot outside, having big windows that let in a lot of sunlight will make your home just as hot as the outdoors. To avoid turning your home into a furnace, keep your blinds or curtains closed while the sun is blaring in. This will reflect the heat away from your home, helping to keep it as cool as possible.

Heatwave hacks keep blinds closed- an image of sun rays coming through the window

3. Use linen or cotton bedding

Cotton and linen bedding will keep you far cooler than cheaper polyester options. They can cost a bit more but it’s important to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Being able to do so in a heatwave is far easier when you use the correct bedding and if you’re lucky, you might already have some in the house – so check your cupboards.

4. Wear sports clothing

Sports gear is specifically designed to help wick away sweat and keep you cool during exercise, making it the perfect clothing for a heatwave. In the absence of sports clothing, we’d recommend wearing light coloured, cooling fabrics such as linens and cottons in loose-fitting cuts. Steer well clear of synthetics like polyester, since these aren’t breathable and are a recipe for overheating, sweat and body odour.

5. Use a flask

Everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated in the heat, but if you’re going out and about to enjoy the sun, your standard water bottles will quickly go tepid. Nobody likes drinking warm water on a hot day, so we’d advise taking out your hot water flasks and filling them with ice water. This should keep your drinks cool all day, even if you leave them in the sun by accident.

an image of a thermal water bottle being filled with cold water from a kitchen tap

6. Use a portable fan

Since aircon is a rarity in the UK, some public places get unbearably hot in the summer. To combat this, you can invest in a handheld fan, or neck fan to carry around with you on days out and better still, they’re often very affordable.

7. Hang a wet sheet

If you’re burning up in the heat, hanging up a wet sheet in front of an open window will help a cool breeze to circulate throughout your home as it dries. Once dry, simply re-moisten the sheet and hang it up again.

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