UK Heatwave: The surprising fan hack that will help you sleep better during hot nights

Creating cross ventilation can help cool temperatures indoors

Kate Ng
Thursday 22 July 2021 17:03
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Getting a comfortable night’s sleep during a heatwave can sometimes feel like a futile endeavour, but this quick fan trick might help bring some relief to a stuffy night.

All you need is a stand fan that can be placed in front of an open window. But instead of pointing the fan towards yourself, the trick involves turning it around so it faces the outside through the open window.

It might sound counterintuitive to turn the fan away from you, but according to eco design adviser Nelson Lebo, it is “the best, low-cost, highly effective technique to keep a home cool”.

Lebo, who is based in New Zealand, recommends setting up a fan by a window on the shady side of the house as soon as the temperature outside drops lower than the temperature indoors.

This creates cross ventilation, which brings cooler air from outside a home whilst forcing warm air outside.

According to LadBible, Lebo said: “Everyone knows about cross ventilation, but it only works when the wind is blowing and then it works best when there is a direct route for the wind to blow through a home.

“What the fan does is, it forces cross ventilation, even when the wind is not blowing. A fan will also pull air around corners, as in our home.

“The overall goal is to pull the warm air out while drawing cool air in once the outdoor temperature drops below the indoor temperature. Fans use hardly any power compared to air-conditioning.”

The unconventional method is easier than some other heatwave solutions, like placing ice in front of the fan or freezing sheets and duvets before bed.

It could also help alleviate any discomfort some people may experience when they sleep with a fan blowing on them all night.

According to the Sleep Advisor website, some people wake up feeling extremely dry after a night of sleeping with the fan blowing directly on them as the “constant stream of air also has a tendency to dry out your nasal passages”.

Dry nasal passages could affect the sinuses, which sometimes results in the body producing excess mucus, says the website. This could lead to “blockage, stuffiness and sinus headaches”.

“People who sleep with a breeze directly on them may wake up with stiff and sore muscles,” the website adds.

“This is because the concentrated cool air can make muscles tense up and cramp.”

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