Home Renovation Searches Soar Up to 400% as Homeowners Try to Keep Cool This Summer
So, you may have noticed that it's been a bit warm in the UK this week. In fact, the country has experienced some of the hottest days since records began, with highs of 31.6C (88.9F) recorded at Heathrow and Northern Ireland hitting it’s hottest temperature on record, topping 31.3C (88.34F).
With temperatures set to stay in the 20’s, folks across the UK have been looking for ways to stay cool. Market research conducted by insulation specialists Insulation4Less found that searches for home appliances and temperature controlling home improvements have shot up significantly in the past 2 weeks.
Small interior fixtures like Cool Cotton Sheets (308%) and even air purifying, humidity loving plants like Money Trees (168%) and Areca Palms (106%) have jumped since the current bout of warm weather picked up in the last 2 weeks.
Appliances like Oscillating Fans have shot up by 244%, while more permanent fixtures like Ceiling Fans and Air Conditioning Units have shot up by 127% and 400% respectively. Searches for CFLs, light bulbs which are more energy efficient and give off less heat that traditional bulbs also saw an increase of 112%.
Home renovations, both big and small, also seem to be a hot topic at the moment. Unsurprisingly, BBQ's have seen a 127% increase as residents try to make the most of the weather and stay outside as much as possible. Other notable increases are Air Vents (127%) Solar Reflective Paint (122%) for exterior walls/roofs, Heat Reflective Window Film (194%), and even Thermal Insulation (125%).
The impact that temperature can have on our homes, as well as our quality of life is something that John-Paul Manning, MD at Insulation4Less, is acutely aware of.
The temperature of our homes can have a significant impact, not only on the quality of our property, but on our quality of life as well. As global warming continues to impact British weather, homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the need to take taking proactive steps towards controlling and managing temperature in their homes.
Small changes such as painting our interiors or swapping out traditional bulbs for more eco-friendly are becoming increasingly more popular, but we are definitely seeing an increase in more permanent home renovations such as adding solar reflective paint to exterior walls and installing energy efficient windows.
As a specialist on temperature regulation in the home, John-Paul has some key tried and tested tips on keeping your home cool. From small interior changes to top tier renovations, here are some of the things you can use to stay frosty this summer.
Top Tips for INSIDE Your Home
Install a Fan or Air Conditioning Unit
When the weather heats up, fans and air conditioning units are often the first thing that people turn to stay cool, and when it comes to choosing between the two, it's usually down to cost and personal preference.
Fans are cheaper to buy and almost ten times cheaper to run than a portable air conditioning unit, but they only effectively push air around a room. To make them more effective, place a bowl with some ice in front of it to add a cool breeze.
Air conditioners might cost more but they are incredibly effective at keeping a room and in some cases entire properties pretty cool. They’re also great at cleaning your air, reducing humidity and filtering out pollen and dust, making it the perfect choice for those with allergies.
Add Some Air-Purifying Plants Around Your Home
It might sound odd adding water loving plants to your home during some of the hottest days on record, but there’s a great reason behind it. Houseplants not only look fantastic, but they can actually help purify the air in your home by absorbing toxins from the air, making any space feel fresher and brighter in the process.
Houseplants can release moisture into the air which can have a really cooling effect. Plants like the Money Tree’s Areca Palms, Aloe Vera, and Spider Plants are always a good choice, and are a great way to add some vibrant colour to your home. Strategically placed shady trees can also be used to block out the sun's rays, and help them grow in the process.
Opt for Natural Fabrics and Materials for Soft Furnishings
If you have ever had the pleasure of sitting on a leather couch in the summer heat, you’ll know exactly how sticky and uncomfortable they can be. And it's not just leather, other materials like silk, satin, leather and polyesters tend to absorb heat really easily, which can be pretty off putting in warm weather.
So when it comes to soft furnishings, opt for linen and cotton upholstery where possible. Light, airy, and breathable fabrics promote ventilation and airflow. They’re best added in places around the house in places where soft furnishings are often used, which for many is often the living room and bedroom.
Install Some Door Holders
Door holders do exactly what you think - using strategically placed magnets, they are a safe and easy way to keep your doors open. Simple and easy to install, they’re often a better choice than door stoppers which can often cause damage to doors over time and are a lot more convenient to use.
But their biggest asset is that they aid air ventilation, which can help offset trapped heat and increase airflow, which comes in handy if you need a bit of a breeze.
Paint Your Interior Walls With Cool Colours
Dark colours can trap heat, so a great tactic to control room temperature is to paint your interior decor with neutral colours, such as whites and pastels. And with the dry summer weather is the perfect time for a seasonal upgrade.
Neutral tones are incredibly dynamic and are at the heart of some incredible interior trends. From the simple minimalist look to the traditional farmhouse style, you’ll be sure to find a style that suits your home and helps to keep it cool in the summer and cozy in the winter.
Install Some Day/Night Blinds
If you have a room that gets a lot of sun, you'll know how annoying it can be to regulate the amount of light that comes in. Blackout curtains can often be too dark (and absorb heat) whole normal blinds might not give you enough protection.
However, adding some day and night blinds to your windows and doors is a great solution - they’re highly adjustable and can be angled in exactly the way you want them. In addition they’re often made from materials like jute or bamboo that don’t absorb heat, so you won’t run the risk of trapping it in.
Change your lightbulbs
Traditional Incandescent light bulbs not only put out A LOT of heat, they’re also incredibly inefficient when it comes to energy efficiency. As a result, summer is a great time to make the switch to better lighting options.
LED or CFL lights can reduce wasted heat and help cool a room down. To keep the heat to a minimum, Turn off lights when not in use and unplug electronic equipment when they are idle to reduce the amount of heat they generate. Not only will this help stave off the heat, but you’ll also see a small saving in your utility bills too.
Install Thermal Regulating Insulation
Most people associate building insulation with cold weather and keeping heat in. But it’s a common misconception - it’s also great keeping the heat out, too.
In reality, insulation works by reducing the transfer of heat, so it works both ways, keeping the cold out during the winter and keeping the heat out during summer.
As a result, when it comes to home renovations, insulation is a solid investment, no matter the weather. It keeps you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and your utility bills lighter all year around.
Top Tips for OUTSIDE your Home
Paint Your Exterior Walls (and Roof if Possible)
Consider giving your exterior walls a go-over as well. UV reflective paint literally does what it says on the tin - it helps to reflect UV rays, which can help prevent your property from absorbing and trapping heat. For something a bit different use light colours like pastel yellow, aqua, millennial pink, beige and white work well.
If possible, consider adding a lick of paint to your roof too. Cool roofs can help keep indoor temperatures lower by 2C to 5C compared to traditional roofs, so it can really make all the difference. Add some weatherproofing to make sure your paint stands the test of time year on year.
Make Sure Your Windows are Energy Efficient
Windows can play an important role in helping to regulate temperatures in our home. But it's not just how often we keep them open and closed, but also in terms of how energy efficient they are. Windows can absorb a significant amount of ambient heat from the sun, especially if it shines directly on the glass, which can make your interiors extremely hot.
As a result, a good tactic is to replace old windows with more energy efficient options. Dual- pane glass insulates almost twice as well as single-pane, while triple-pane glass maximizes your energy efficiency by reducing thermal transfer. Like most temperature control renovations, this can also help in the winter months, so it’s definitely a worthy investment.
Apply Heat Reducing Film to Your Windows and Glass Doors
With roughly 30% of ambient heat coming into your home through the windows, one easy fix to keep your home cool is to apply a reflective, heat-reducing window film to help regulate the temperature.
It's especially effective when placed on any east and west facing sides of your home to offset the sun as it passes through the sky, and it doesn’t affect your view at all.
And as an extra bonus, reflective film is great at keeping warm air inside during the winter, so it’s a great investment no matter what time of year it is.
Invest in a BBQ
This one might sound obvious, and it is - Who doesn’t like to have a nice BBQ during the summer? However, the kitchen is often the room that generates the most heat, especially when it comes to cooking. And once that heat is in, it can be difficult to get out.
As a result, throwing some food on the coals is not only a nice change of pace, it’s also a great alternative to a hot and steamy kitchen. If you’re looking to invest in a temporary BBQ or build yourself something a bit more permanent, make sure you place it a good distance away to stop heat flowing inside your home.
Install an Awning To Extend Space and Cover Windows
When it comes to the summer, you want to enjoy as much time outside as you possibly can, and an awning can provide maximum protection from the heat. scorching sun. Adding an awning to your exterior space is a very inexpensive way to extend your outdoor living space,
More often than not, awnings are placed on the back of a property where the
kitchen or dining room is normally located. Since these rooms often have a lot of window space, adding an awning can help shade windows and stop them from absorbing direct and indirect sunlight, which can help keep out the heat.
Most awnings are designed to withstand additional harsh weather including cold temperatures and hard rain, which means they can be used year round too.
Plant Some Leafy Shade Outside Your Windows
As with their close houseplant cousins, garden plants and foliage have an amazing capacity to purify and cool the air around them. You can go small by planting low lying plants in your garden or by adding a planter box outside the upper windows and balconies. Some parts of your walls can be turned into lattices where creepers can be allowed to grow.
If you want to go big, large reaching trees and hanging foliage are a great way to provide shade, and to mitigate heat from reaching your windows and doors. There are also the ecological benefits - you’ll be helping to support the local fauna and flora - especially the bees.
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