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How to keep your home cool in summer

How to keep your home cool in summer

As the mercury rises this week, sun worshipers may rejoice, but the other side of the coin is the inevitable tossing and turning that follows come nightfall. We’re well-versed in mild sunshine and showers aplenty, but our Great British homes are not quite so primed and ready to roll with temperatures that creep towards the big 3-0. To make days like these that bit more bearable, these five keep-cool-and-carry-on suggestions should help make your home comfortable – no air conditioning SOS installation call required.

Keep cool at night with linen bed sheets

One of the most effective and most elegant of ways to regulate body temperature at night, is by investing in bed linen that allows the air to circulate – allowing the warmth to escape rather than being burrowed under the covers with you. And the clue is in the name – bed linen. Pure linen bedding, like our Edith collection, is made entirely from natural flax fibres that, once spun into linen yarn, promises pillow cases, sheets and duvet covers that will help your bed and your body to breathe. The same rings true for cotton bedding (take a look at Albertine), which also wicks moisture away from your body, keeping you more comfortable still.

If you are the sort who struggles to not have the weight of a duvet over you at night, be sure to at least switch to a summer quilt with a lower tog. A lighter weight option still would be to use a top sheet (as is custom in a bed’s daily make-up in countries like Australia and America) so that you can peel the duvet away and still have a cover over you as you drift off. A flat sheet works just as well here, helpfully trapping cool air in, and also means you can benefit from the bedding-in-the-freezer trick that’s so often recommended. It’s far easier to slip in a single sheet into the freezer than taking off your duvet’s cover, finding room for that amidst the tubs of ice cream, before wrestling it back over your quilt.

If you’re still in dire straits, open up the freezer drawer once more, but this time nestle next to the frozen peas a hot water bottle filled with cold water and a few cubes of ice. Then pad your way to bed with your very own cashmere-covered ice pack.

Sleep with the windows open

There’s been a resurgence in conversation around the health benefits of sleeping with your bedroom window open. Reason being, with lots of people reporting a fuzzy-head feeling during lockdown, scientists and sleep specialists have been recommending this fresh air approach to awake with a clearer mind, thanks to the rooms’s reduction in dioxide levels.

So, not only does cool air make for a more restful sleep, but a more restorative one too – providing home isn’t where noise pollution runs rife, in which case, you’ll need to add ear plugs to the shopping list.

Boost your fan’s breeze with ice

Needless to say, a fan becomes your closest confidante when summer is at its most generous. But there is a simple way to unleash its cooling capabilities further still, which you will likely be especially thankful for when your head hits the pillow.

By placing a bowl or shallow dish of heavily iced water in front of your fan, as the ice evaporates, the air blowing in your direction will contain more moisture, cooling you down more effectively. Something we like to do at Neptune is to add a few droplets of a sleep-boosting essential oil such as lavender and jasmine – both of which are said to not only calm the mind but to boost energy levels when you rouse.

Draw the curtains during the day

Ever wondered why many Mediterranean homes have shutters on the outside of their homes? It’s because keeping the windows covered during the day, or during the midday sun spell at least, significantly reduces humidity and that stuffiness that hits you when bed beckons.

Beautiful as they are, having traditional wooden shutters fitted to your home’s exterior might be a tad extreme, and so instead, simply keep curtains closed and plantation shutters slatted shut to keep the hot air at bay.

When the temperatures outside are warmer than those inside, it’s wise to keep things covered as rather than letting a summer breeze drift in, cool air is in fact escaping while warm air invades. Blackout blinds are especially helpful here as they prevent direct sunlight from penetrating your curtain or blind fabric – ask one of our home specialists about having your made-to-measure curtains and blinds fitted with a blackout interlining.

Pot some plants

Nature comes to our aid once again with this final home-cooling suggestion. From plant-based bedding to plants in pots, welcoming house plants into the fold is a promise of much-needed moisture that will breathe relief into a stuffy setting.

It’s down to the process of transpiration, which has the fortunate consequence of not just lowering room temperature, but doing its bit to maintain a level of humidity that’s in our comfort zone. Plenty of house plants also purify the air, so look into such species that can achieve the hat trick for you, such as aloe vera or ferns, palms and peace lilies, and ficus trees (try Ficus Elastica or Ficus Benjamina, known as the weeping fig – beautiful in name and in nature).