Why you should never open your windows on a hot day, according to a health practitioner

Four hacks to keep your home cool in the heat

When it comes to how to keep a room cool the first thing you should do is open the windows right? Wrong!

Related: Too hot to sleep? Here's how to stay cool in bed

According to health practitioner Stacey Dutton, who has teamed up with home brand Unclutterer to share her tips for keeping cool in summer, opening your windows on a hot day is one of the worst things you can do.

This might come as a shock if like us you currently have every window in your home open, in the hope of a faint breeze. However, Stacey insists that you are actually just allowing more hot air into your home.

room with white wall and window with potted plants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alicia Taylor)

'It always amazes me how many people open a window, feel the warm air hit them, and then leave the window open,' says Stacey.

'Opening the windows on a hot day will fill the rooms with hot air, and in turn, raise its temperature,' she adds. 'Likewise, if you leave the curtains or blinds open, letting the sunshine through the windows, the room will rise in temperature.'

'On a hot day close the windows and close the drapes to darken the room,' explains Stacey. 'The windows should be opened when the temperature outside cools and the sun beings to set. This will let cool air in and encourage the indoor temperature to drop further.'

room with white wall and potted plant and cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

As a general rule, you want to keep the windows closed if the temperature outside is higher than it is inside, for example in the afternoon. If it is hotter inside than outside, open them.

Here are a few more handy tips to help you stay cool when working from home. So you can get back to work without that distracting sensation of slowly melting.

How to keep cool when working from home

1. Apply a cold compress to pulse points

'Applying a cold compress to points of the body where a strong pulse can be found works to cool the body from the inside out,' explains Stacey. 'Applying a cold compress to the pulse point ignites a signal to the brain stating that the body is cold.'

This will trick the hypothalamus in your brain, which regulates the body's temperature, into cooling the rest of your body. Clever.

2. Use peppermint oil

'Peppermint is packed with menthol that delivers a tingling effect to the skin that replicates the feeling of being colds,' says Dutton.

Try inhaling it, or diluting in water or oil and applying to the skin and pulse points.

room with frames on white wall and laptop

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes)

3. Stay hydrated with hot water

This one might sound counterproductive, but Stacey insists that it is very effective.

'When you drink a hot drink when your body temperature is high, it raises it even further. This encourages the body to sweat,' she explains. 'Ultimately, sweating is a mechanism used by the body to cool it.'

Just make sure you're wearing clothes that allow sweat to evaporate. If not, stick to the cool drinks.

Related: Doggy paddle! New cool accessories help pets stay well during heatwave – including a paddling pool

And remember, keep those windows closed if you want to beat the heat.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.