Life made simple

How to chill at home when it’s hot.


Now that summer’s arrived, we all want to keep cool and feel chilled. Here’s how.

You know how you change your clothes to keep warmer in winter, and cooler in summer? Newsflash: You can do that with your home, too.

If you live anywhere you can feel the difference between winter and summer, pay attention to these cunning tips.

The no-rug rule: Roll up and pack away the rugs that made your home so cosy in winter. You don’t need that cosiness for a few months.

Keep windows, blinds and curtains closed on hotter days. A lot of heat enters through the windows, whether they’re closed or open. So keep the sun out and you’ll come home to a cooler place. If you live in a double storey home, you’ll notice that it’s hotter upstairs, so always keep windows and curtains closed up there on hotter days.

Keep your cooking to a minimum – especially on the stove top. The more you cook, the more heat you produce – and that heat from the kitchen spreads to the rest of your home. Use a microwave oven when you can; it produces much less heat. Or cook outside – it’s braai season, remember? Or, best idea of all, don’t cook! Salads and cold food are your friends in summer.

Insulation. That pink stuff that keeps a home warmer in winter also keeps it cooler in summer, so it’s a good investment. You won’t wish you had a pool when your home’s cool inside.

Salads and cold food are your friends in summer.

Want to sleep cooler? Those winter hot water bottles and those bean bags you heat up in the microwave oven can stay useful in summer. Fill your hot water bottle with cold water, then put it (or a bean bag) in the freezer for a few hours, and you’ll have something delightfully chilled to cool you down.

Bedroom fans are great in summer, and help keep mosquitoes away too – so if you can’t splash out on aircon, try a fan, at least in the bedroom. If you use a tabletop fan, place a tilted bowl of ice water in front of it, to create a wonderful sea breeze effect.

Do you live in a house that gets a lot of sun? The sun bakes heat into all the sun-facing walls of your home. Feel them after a hot summer day and you’ll realise why your house is still warm inside long after sunset.. So when the day does become cooler after sunset, and there’s a breeze, open all windows for a through breeze that’ll cool down everything inside.

Too hot to sleep? Sprinkle a cotton sheet or light cotton beach wrap with cold water, and sleep under that. And use 100% cotton sheets – they’re much cooler than a polycotton mix.

And lastly, drink lots of cold water – it really does work to cool you down.

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