10 DEPENDABLE Ways to Cool Down a Flat

Guide Articles Aug 1, 2022

Is your flat always too hot in summer? Flats without air conditioning are infamous for their ability to get smoking hot when the sun shines, especially those in high rises.

Living, sleeping and working in a warm flat isn’t always the most comfortable thing to do. If you’re looking for tips on how to cool down a flat in summer, there are many things you can do to beat the heat.

Keep reading to learn why flats get so hot and discover our top 10 tips on how to cool down an apartment during a heatwave.

Why Do Flats Get So Hot?

City apartment buildings and high-rise flats are known for heating up in summer, especially during those UK heatwaves. Usually, the reason flats get so hot is due to their design.

If your apartment is always hot when the sun’s shining, it could be because your building has:

  • High sunlight exposure – Most flats have large windows that trap heat in
  • Poor ventilation – Many apartments in high rises have windows that don’t open, keeping hot air in
  • Good insulation – Some flats are so well insulated that they stay hot during summer
  • A lack of shade – High-rise flats may not have surrounding buildings blocking the sun, causing more sunlight to reach your apartment

10 Hacks: How to Cool Down a Flat During a Heatwave

Staying cool during a heatwave can feel impossible, especially if you live in a flat with no windows that open or air conditioning! But all hope isn’t lost, there are ways to cool down a flat during hot weather.

Keep reading to discover our top 10 hacks on how to cool down a flat.

1. Put a bowl of ice in front of or behind your fan

Create your own indoor air conditioning unit by placing a bowl of ice in front of or behind your fan. If your flat is very hot, the ice should melt quickly. The cool air can then rise and go into the flow of air from the fan, which can keep you cool. If you’re using this hack, make sure you use a lot of ice and raise the bowl as high as you can without disrupting the flow of air. Otherwise, it may not work as well.

Related article: 10 Things you NEED to rent a UK flat

2. Clean your fan

Clogged-up fans are less efficient than clean fans. They don’t spin as well, nor do they give off as much cool air. Open up your fan safely and give the blades a quick clean. Try dusting around the edges, too, as this can also impact how well it turns. You should notice a difference very quickly!

Related article: A renter’s ultimate guide to end of tenancy cleaning

3. Open loft hatches

Lofts are known for staying cool during hot weather because of their lack of insulation. Lofts in flats won’t be as cool as those in houses, but they should be slightly cooler than your rooms downstairs. Many flats don’t have a loft hatch, but if yours does, open it up and it could keep your flat a little cooler in summer!

4. Avoid the oven

As you’d expect, ovens give out a ton of heat. In a flat, this can quickly spread warmth around your home and make it harder to stay cool. You still need to eat, but maybe consider switching up your meals on very hot days. For example, you can opt for something quick on the hob, cold or microwavable to prevent heat from building up in your flat when cooking.

Related article: Renting furnished vs unfurnished, pros & cons

5. Turn off unused appliances

Any electrical appliance uses energy and gives off heat when switched on. This includes your fridge, freezer, microwave, toaster, phone charger, TV and many other things. Of course, you shouldn’t turn off your fridge and freezer just because it’s hot, but if there are other electronic devices you aren’t using, switch them off and stay cool!

Related article: 7 Energy-saving tips to help reduce your energy bills

6. Invest in houseplants

Is it a bit of a myth? Maybe. But according to research by the University of Vermont Extension, investing in houseplants can help keep your flat cool. Because they release moisture into the air, it could reduce the temperature of your flat by adding humidity. If you didn’t already need another excuse to buy more houseplants, this is it!

Related article: How to arrange houseplants in a living room

7. Close blinds & curtains

Windows are great at letting natural light into your flat, but are terrible at keeping the heat out! During a heatwave, your rooms can quickly warm up when your curtains and blinds are left open. Beat the heat and keep them closed when the sun is shining through. If you miss the natural light when working from home, try incorporating a few walks into your day instead!

Related article: How to find a remote-work-friendly rental

8. Make a solar reflector

One of the best ways to cool down a flat during a heatwave is to keep the sun out! You can simply close your blinds and curtains, but the heat will still seep through the glass and into your home. Avoid this by getting creative and building your own solar reflective. Use a large piece of cardboard that fills your window and cover it with tin foil. Safely place it on the inside of your windows and it should reflect the sun outwards, keeping your flat cool.

9. Keep windows closed

It’s commonly thought that opening a window cools down a flat, but it has the opposite effect. Heat can swarm your flat through open windows, so be sure to keep them closed when the sun is shining. You can open them later when the sun sets to let the fresh air in.

Related article: 15 Cheap ways to make a flat smell nice

10. Keep lights off

Just like your appliances, the lights in your flat give off heat, too! By keeping them off, you can keep your flat cooler for longer. Since the weather is warmer, hopefully that means the days are brighter for longer, meaning it won’t make much difference to your day.

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Will Southall

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