5 common cooling mistakes making your home warmer – and how to fix them

These are the home cooling mistakes you'll want to avoid this season if you want to keep your cool

picture of vintage fan next to houseplant in border to highlight home cooling mistakes to avoid
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When hot weather approaches most people start panicking looking for ways to cool down their houses. Just ensure you don't make the common mistake of trying out these popular cooling methods. 

Looking for ways to keep your home cool without AC? Whether they're internet hacks or old wives tales, some cooling advice might seem like a good idea to begin with but many of these 'tips' can be ineffective and cost you more money. 

With this in mind, we spoke to cooling and home experts to get the truth on what mistakes we should be avoiding this summer. 

5 common home cooling mistakes you should avoid this summer

So if you want help with how to keep cool in summer whilst working from home or through the night, here are six things you absolutely shouldn't be doing. 

Some of these mistakes might surprise you, but we have it on good authority that they're best avoided if you wish to keep your home cool. 

1. Opening all the windows

picture of wooden window slightly ajar

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During summer it can be more than tempting to run around your home and open all the windows in a desperate plea for some fresh cool air. Unfortunately, this won't help you keep a bedroom cool like you may have thought it would. 

Andy Kerr, Founder of cooling and heating company BOXT, explains, "When temperatures are particularly warm, opening up all your windows will let more hot air into your home, heating up your home and making you feel warmer." 

Instead of doing this, Andy recommends strategically opening windows to create cross breezes throughout the day and then only opening more windows during the night to let the cooler air in. 

2. Fans in unoccupied rooms

Although the cost of running an electric fan is not exactly earth-shattering, keeping fans on in rooms that aren't being used is unuseful in more ways than one. 

"Homeowners often leave fans on in unoccupied rooms all day, hoping it will cool the temperature when they enter later on," says Andy. "However, fans don’t cool air, they simply move it around, meaning the temperature of your room will not lower."

Aside from not cooling your room down, leaving fans on in empty rooms will increase your energy bills and cost you more in the long run with repeated use. 

There's also the fact that running an electric appliance generates heat, albeit a small amount it's still not helpful in keeping a room cool.

3. Not making full use of your dehumidifier

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier in front of a white stone wall with plants on one side and alundry on the other

(Image credit: Meaco)

Whilst you may think having one of the best dehumidifiers on your side is only useful during winter you're very much mistaken. There are several reasons to buy a dehumidifier in summer and keeping yourself cool is one of them 

"High humidity levels can make the air feel warmer, so not addressing humidity can lead to discomfort even if the temperature is low," explains David Miloshev, an electrician and home improvement expert for Fantastic Services.

Aside from normal humidity, other tasks around your home can also add extra heat and humidity. 

Things like cooking, using the oven, running the dishwasher or using a tumble dryer will make your house even hotter. 

4. Placing fans in front of open windows

An expert fan hack you may have come across is placing a fan in front of an open window. The aim is to promote fresh air throughout the home and to hopefully cool it down at the same time, whilst this will work at nighttime doing it through the day can have the opposite effect. 

Allan Reid, a glass expert and founder of Artwindows&Doors, says, "Fans circulate air, creating a windchill effect that makes you feel cooler, but they don't actually lower the temperature. Having windows open while using a fan blows hot air around and defeats the purpose." 

It's more effective to know how to clean a fan, as this will significantly increase its efficiency and ability to make you feel cooler overall. 

5. Keeping your curtains open

picture of curtains open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whilst it may be tempting to let all that summer light in, simply having your curtains open through the day can make a huge difference in your home's overall temperature. 

Allan says, "Keeping curtains closed during the day on windows that get direct sun (south facing) helps prevent the heat from entering your home in the first place. Blinds are less effective than curtains at blocking heat.”

Should you want to have a more helpful cooling effect in your room overnight then we'd recommend investing in one of the best cooling mattresses

Avoiding these mistakes will be sure to help with keeping your home cool, however, if you particularly struggle with the heat the experts recommend investing in an air conditioning system. Whilst this might seem rather rash, summers are set to be hotter and hotter every year so you might be thankful for the step later down the line. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.