Five tips to cool your home after days of extreme hot weather

Five tips to cool your home after days of extreme hot weather
Credit: Pexels

After a period of very warm weather, it is a relief when the temperature outside drops. However, the heat remains in our homes, soaked into walls and circulated in trapped warm air. How do you get your home fresh after such hot days? Here are five practical tips.

Ventilate at the right time (hint: not during the day)

In order to get a fresh house in the evening, let in as little heat as possible during the day. Jelle Laverge, lecturer in building physics at Ghent University, points to a common mistake that people make when it is very hot during the day.

"People tend to open up as much as possible when it's hot, but that has a negative effect. The moment the air temperature outside becomes warmer than inside, you should prevent the warm air from entering your home. Close windows and doors during the day and do not let the sun in by lowering shutters and closing curtains," he warns.

When it cools down in the evening, the reverse is true.

"If the outside temperature is lower than inside, open windows and doors to bring as much cool air into the home as possible. Air circulation is the best way to cool down your home," says Laverge.

Open the right windows and doors on different floors

The basic rule to get the temperature as low as possible is to open windows and doors, Laverge says.

"It is enough to open a number of windows and doors of opposite facades. That generates the most airflow," says Laverge. "Suppose you have three or four windows on a façade, then it is better to open one window on one side, and on the other side of the house another window if possible. That will ventilate more than opening two windows on the same side."

It is also important that fresh air enters the home at different heights.

"Open windows and doors on different floors, which creates the best air circulation. Warm air rises and leaves the house through the upper rooms. That way you get airflow throughout the house, which lowers the perceived temperature and makes the heat more bearable."

Related News

Point a fan outward

"It's often enough for a home to cool it down by opening windows and doors at different heights," Laverge says.

But in an apartment, for example, it is not always possible to create enough drafts.

"In that case, you can use a fan to simulate the airflow. Let that fan blow out. It blows the warm air out of the room. A fan also produces heat, which goes outside immediately."

By keeping the blinds closed during the day, hanging wet laundry and positioning a fan in a certain direction, one's house will stay cool for longer. Graphic by Abby Stetina for The Brussels Times

Hang wet laundry

The evaporation of water makes your home a little fresher.

"Water evaporates and consumes a lot of energy, which it extracts from the surrounding air. This takes the heat out of the room," Laverge explains.

But this approach also has a disadvantage. "Make sure that it does not get too humid in your house because relative humidity makes the feeling temperature go up. Hang the laundry in a doorway, so that less heat enters the room itself."

Ventilate long enough

The longer the heat lasts, the harder it becomes to keep your home cool. Laverge points out the importance of permanent ventilation.

"Heat creeps into the walls and furniture of a house. The heat of one day penetrates only a few centimetres into a wall. With thick, solid walls, it takes longer for the wall to absorb heat. But it also takes longer for the heat to dissipate," says Laverge.

"The surface of the wall cools down relatively quickly, but in the final phase of that process, the wall cools down very slowly. It is then important that you continue to ventilate the house to dissipate the heat that is in the house."

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.