ALTHOUGH the UK summer can’t always be relied on for providing us with that much-wanted hot sunshine, we are prone to the odd heatwave now and then.

Reading has seen some wonderful weather so far this summer.

But a heatwave isn't always fun, as we try to relax and instead feel hot and uncomfortable in our own homes.

It's possible that a warmer house could also cause skin problems such as eczema, and because it is harder to sleep when it's warmer, some people may suffer from fatigue.

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During the day, it is common to feel lethargic and have trouble concentrating due to the increased heat.

As you can image the most common way to keep that temperature down is air conditioning.

If you have it you are very lucky, however it can be expensive to keep running.

So here are a range of ideas on how you can cool down your home, short and long term:

1. Invest in black out blinds or curtains

Removing your old blinds or curtains and replacing them with a black out option are a great way to keep selected rooms in the house cool. Just closing your normal curtains, to block some sunlight, can have a small effect, however blackout fabrics can block out all unwanted sunlight, reducing the overall temperature in the room.

For maximum benefit, close the curtains or blinds in the morning before it gets too hot and open them again (even for a small length of time) in the evening to let in some fresh air.

2. Cotton is best

Try to keep away from satin and silk bedding and sheets.

Although they look and feel nice, linen and cotton are much more breathable. The lighter-coloured bedding made of those lighter fabrics, such as cotton, are much cooler to sleep in.

If you sleep in pyjamas it may be also worth swapping out your satin or silk sleep wear for a cotton alternative to gain the same outcome.

3. Turn out those lights

All types of light bulbs, including environmentally friendly options, give off a large amount of heat.

Try only having a light on, in your home, if really necessary to cut down on that extra heat.

With the sun shining for longer during the summer season, this should be an easy change where you will also save on your energy bills.

4. Avoid electrical devices

All electrical devices can radiate more heat than what you think, even more so when charging.

Try to avoid charging your phone etc overnight, especially if you are struggling to sleep from the heat.

5. Invest in some house plants

Now this isn’t the most common thought when thinking of ways to cool down your home, however it can also improve that home décor.

House plants don't only add aesthetics but can purify the air.

Many houseplants will absorb warm air and release oxygen and cool moisture into the air via the transpiration process. When the air around plants heats up, they release excess water into the air to cool themselves and the atmosphere around them.

6. Ice fans

Fans are great in the mild heat, but when it's cranked up, they just blow hot air around so it's all about ice.

Use a roasting tin or a box that will sit in front of the fan and fill it with as much ice as possible.

As the ice melts, the breeze from the fan pics up the cool air and creates a nice cool mist.

7. Maximise your garden

If you have a garden, you can use it to gain some of that much needed shade.

If you plant a variety of trees or shrubs in a strategic way, they will be able to grow and block out some of the sunlight into your house as well as in the garden.

Now this tactic won’t unfortunately work for this summer season but can be started as a project for next year.

8. Insulation

Most people, when thinking of insulation, see it as a way to keep the heat inside and warm up your home during winter.

However, it works as a double duty and can be a long-term solution to keeping cool in summer and warm in winter.

Insulation works by blocking out the heat from entering your home and although a slightly more expensive solution, it will work for you year or year all year round.

9. Freezer tricks

There are a few items that could be placed in the freezer, for a short while, to gain that instant cool down.

Placing bed sheets in the freezer, for an hour or so before using them, will help aerate the room and send you off to sleep that little quicker. This is also a useful trick for clothing or a hot water bottle.

Although this tactic won’t last for too long, it will help as a quick fix.

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10. More BBQs

Now we don’t really need an excuse to have more BBQs, however they can be more useful that you think.

Cooking outside will prevent you from using the stove or the oven which give out a mass amount of heat in the kitchen and instead stay outside.