Earth Notes: Manage the Heat Maltese Style

Reduce summer overheating with windows and blinds.
Maltese village basking

Ignore the wild scare stories in the tabloid press that insulation in your house will cook you in summer!

On the contrary, good insulation, glazing and shutters / reflective blinds / curtains, and chosing when to open and close windows and use other ventilation, can all help keep your house cool when it's a scorcher outside.

Perhaps as a tenant you can't fix up your house right now, but you can still manage like a Maltese to beat the heat.

In the UK we've grown used to the idea that to cool down we can open a window, but when its hotter outside than inside, that's not true!

In Malta where temperatures can easily hit the 40s (C), and heavy air-con isn't really a thing at home, how do they manage, and can we learn any lessons from them?

I had the pleasure of managing a team in Malta for a while, and while there I learnt the following simple rules that also work for me in London in that blink of an eye that can pass for hot weather here:

  • Open windows at night to let hot air out, and let the building cool.
  • Close windows, curtains, reflective blinds and shutters during the day to keep hot air and strong sunshine out, at least once it's warming up outside.

Of course, life may be more complicated than that, and you may want to air the house if there's a nice breeze, but just doing the above makes a huge difference to comfort.

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