How to keep your kitchen cool in a heatwave
POSTED ON 15th July 2022
If you can’t stand the heat but want to stay in the kitchen – 6 tricks to help you stay cool!
The kitchen tends to be one of the warmest rooms in the home. Great for the winter but when a heatwave strikes, it could become unbearable. The old saying goes, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” but the kitchen is often a really social space, plus you still have to eat, so how can you make the temperature bearable when it’s hitting high 30s outside?
Here are 6 hacks for keeping the kitchen cool:
- Turn off unnecessary appliances
Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen tends to have the highest concentration of appliances. Individually, they may only give off small amounts of heat but collectively, it could make a big difference. Turning appliances such as toasters, coffee machines, slow cookers, kettles, and lamps off at the wall will not only make the space a few degrees cooler but will reduce your energy consumption, which is very useful when energy costs are so high. Look around at all your sockets, how many chargers are plugged in? Did you realise that a charger still uses some electricity, even if the phone is not attached if it’s turned on at the socket?
- Keep cooking to a minimum
Chances are, you may not want to eat hot food in hot weather anyway but, in the same spirit as the first item, generating heat by having the hob or the oven on will raise the ambient temperature of the whole room. Choose salads or sandwiches instead. If you really can’t manage without a hot meal, consider using the microwave instead as this won’t create as much heat. (You can boil water for a cup of tea in a microwave and avoid adding hot steam from the kettle into the air).
- Use a fan to maximise air flow
Fans are the number one go-to appliance in hot weather, but did you realise that fans don’t actually cool the air? They just move it around. When it passes over your skin it absorbs moisture and reduces heat energy, making you feel cooler. To cool you down, therefore, fans need to have some air to move around. You can maximise their cooling power by increasing their access to air. Luckily, most kitchens have an outside door so place the fan near the door or an open window to allow more air in.
- Use bowls of water or ice to help fans cool the air
OK, so fans don’t actually cool air but there is a simple trick you can use to make it do that. By placing something cold in front of the fan, such as a bowl of cold water, ice, or a freezer block (such as one you would use in a cool box) it will cool the air in front of the fan and then the fan will disperse it into the kitchen.
- Fill the kitchen with house plants
A kitchen full of plants is a wonderful thing and, even if you’re not green fingered, this is the room in which they are most likely to survive as they’re in the same room as the sink so you’re less likely to forget to water them! (A good tip is to use any remaining water in glasses that you haven’t drunk, water used for boiling vegetables (once cooled), or even washing up water so that nothing is going to waste). Plants help to keep spaces cool because they generate moisture in the air through their leaves, regulating the temperature like a natural air conditioning system!
- Line windows with tin foil
This sounds like an odd one but hear us out! Putting tin foil on your windows works in a similar way to closing blinds or curtains; it blocks out direct sunlight, and therefore, heat. However, foil goes a little further than a blind as it actively reflects heat away, rather than just absorbing it, as fabric would do. It’s a similar trick to lining the walls behind radiators with foil to reflect heat back into the room. It may look a little odd, but it could just make the heat more tolerable.
Plan for future hot weather
As extreme weather becomes more commonplace, you may want to think more long term about things you can incorporate into your kitchen to cope with regular occurrences of very hot weather. These won’t help you now but next time you plan a new kitchen, consider building in more efficiency in the layout so you don’t have to move around in the space as much when using it, install cooler flooring and surfaces such as ceramic tiles, granite, or marble, or maybe even have an air conditioning unit installed – a new kitchen fit out is the perfect time to incorporate more disruptive installations such as this one. They are particularly good when extending the house for the new kitchen as they can be used for heating as well and mean that you don’t have to find space for extra radiators. These, and other ideas, are all things that your kitchen designer can advise you on.