What do hotter summers mean for our home living?

Lady sitting at her desk with hand on forehead, feeling hot and flustered. a fan is in the foreground placed on her desk.

Lady sitting at her desk with hand on forehead, feeling hot and flustered. a fan is in the foreground placed on her desk.

Our summers are getting hotter and with that, it brings uncomfortable living for many people. According to the British Met Office, the average mean temperature of 15.8 °C in June 2023 was the highest for almost 140 years. The previous record was set in 1940 and 1976 at 14.9 °C.

Experts have previously warned that the heatwaves and record high temperatures seen across England last summer are likely to happen more often, last longer and be more intense in coming years and decades.

During the heatwave of last July, where the temperatures reached a balmy 40.3 °C we saw schools close, businesses sending their workforce home and fewer people out and about during the day.

What do increasing high temperatures mean for our home living?

During the heatwaves our homes can become uncomfortable, making it difficult to work, live and sleep. Carrying on with normal activities can be a challenge and according to The Climate Change Committee, current analysis shows that there is already a significant overheating risk in parts of the UK domestic housing stock, and higher global temperature will increase the frequency, severity, and geographic extension of this risk.

We look at some of the effects that high temperatures can affect our day-to-day living:

  1. Discomfort indoors – without adequate cooling, high temperatures can make it uncomfortable to stay indoors, particularly during heat waves. This can affect sleep patterns, productivity, and overall well-being.
  2. Health risks – extreme heat can pose health risks, especially for vulnerable people such as the elderly, young children or those with pre-existing medical conditions. Heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion or heatstroke can occur, requiring precautions and access to cooling methods.
  3. Increased energy use – with hotter days and nights, more people might be inclined to increase the use of air conditioning to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This can result in higher energy bills as some cooling systems may consume more electricity.

As much as we enjoy the warm summers when it gets too hot it clearly impacts the way we live our lives. Making small changes within our homes such as closing windows and blinds during the hottest parts of the day and using fans at night can improve our living conditions.

What else can we do to reduce the effects of overheating in our homes?

The new Part O of the Building Regulations has been recently introduced to drive the design of new homes to minimise the risk of overheating. In the future, Part O means that we can make more informed decisions about how homes are designed and to address design issues that can affect overheating risks.

For existing homes using energy-efficient cooling methods that are set up to an appropriate temperature that balances comfort and energy consumption will help to alleviate the effects of a hot house.

The Unico system with its 3-in-1 heating, ventilation and cooling solution provides the perfect home climate control.  This 3-in-1 renewable solution works efficiently and discreetly to maintain perfect, optimum temperatures and exceptional indoor air quality in the home.

To learn more about the benefits of Unico for a retrospect fit, renovation or self-build project, please download our brochure.