It’s the height of summer, you’re at home, you venture into the kitchen, and then bam! The searing heat hits you right in the face and you find yourself in a sweltering mess and gasping for air.
Granted, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the combination of warm summer weather and the heat generated by cooking, having the dishwasher on or even the washing machine, is a recipe for disaster. If you’ve attempted to make dinner in the heat of British summer with the oven at full whack and pans boiling on the stove, you’ll know what a sweaty struggle it can be. It’s not the bread that’s baking, it’s you!
The fact is most UK homes don’t have air conditioning, so finding ways to let heat escape amid rising temperatures can be a challenge. Get it wrong, and your hot kitchen can quickly become unbearable.
Luckily, there are plenty of hacks and tips to stop your cooking area – and yourself – from overheating, so you won’t have to wonder how to keep your kitchen cool in summer ever again.
1. Keeping the Blinds Closed
It may seem blindingly (sorry) obvious but closing the blinds in your kitchen is a guaranteed way to lower the temperature. It’s best to close blinds during the day to prevent warm sunlight from entering, then keep them open first thing in the morning and at night to allow cooler air to flow in.
If you don’t have blinds in your kitchen, it may be a good idea to invest in some, otherwise, your cooking space could become a strictly no-go zone when summertime arrives. Alternatively, installing shutters is another effective option, not only because they stop sunlight streaming through your windows when the weather is hot, but they also prevent heat from escaping during winter months which can even shave a few pounds off your energy bills.
2. Open Windows and Doors at the Right Times
The temperature in your kitchen is almost off the scale. Your natural reaction is to open all the windows and patio doors and let the fresh air in. This could end up being the biggest mistake you’ve made. Knowing when – and when not – to open windows in the kitchen is one of the easiest steps you can take, and certainly one of the most effective.
On warm days when there’s a refreshing breeze, it’s best to get up early to open your windows to let cool air in and warm air out. Then, it’s equally important to close them before the midday sun is at its hottest so you don’t let the warm air back in. When the sun goes down and temperatures drop, open your windows again for another burst of fresh air that will make the following day more comfortable.
3. Limit Oven Use
If it’s roasting in your kitchen, the last thing you want is the oven turned up to the max while you cook, erm, a roast. Top stoves, especially those powered by gas, also throw out extra heat to add to the raging furnace that your kitchen has become.
Simply minimizing the use of your oven and stovetop during summer will help keep the temperature down in the kitchen. If the meal you’re making requires the oven, you could prepare it in advance so that you cook it during the cooler periods of the day. Similarly, cooking food in the morning that can be warmed in a microwave or eaten cold when the temperature drops is another handy tip.
Another way to avoid using the oven when it’s sweltering outside is to batch-cook meals when the weather’s cooler before freezing them until you’re ready to eat.
While Making Maximum Use of Smaller Appliances
Let’s face it, turning the oven on for hours while using multiple gas burners to cook a solitary meal isn’t the most energy-efficient way of doing things. It’s a waste of energy, it isn’t cost-effective, and during the summer it’ll turn a kitchen into a sauna.
Cooking with smaller appliances is a great way to lower the temperature in a kitchen while saving energy and money. For example, the average air fryer uses around 1,500 watts of power compared with an oven’s 2-5,000 watts, and it won’t throw out unnecessary heat either. Similarly, using a microwave to cook or warm things up is more efficient than using the oven and stove. Also, be sure to dust off all the other appliances that have been gathering dust such as the slow cooker, rice cooker, and electric oven and make the most of the technology around you.
4. Adopt an Open Plan Design
If you live in the UK, it’s unlikely that heat was a factor in your kitchen design. After all kitchen temperatures aren’t an issue for the majority of the year. Yet during hot summers, we all probably wish there was more we could do to make the kitchen cooler and more liveable.
If you’re lucky enough to be designing your own kitchen, you’ll really feel the chilly benefit of an open-plan layout during the warmer months. This particular kitchen design allows air to move freely around so that temperatures never get out of hand and heat levels are more than manageable.
A lack of storage in an open-plan design can be an issue for some, but adding a central island is a great solution and will also serve as the focal point of the room and somewhere to sit away from warmer cooking areas. Following that, cooker hoods will remove odours and improve air circulation, while opting for lighter colours for cabinets and countertops will absorb less heat.
5. Use Materials that Keep Your Kitchen Cool
Dark colours are known to absorb heat, and the same applies to kitchen counters and worktops. So, when selecting the right material to use, choosing lighter surfaces is a cooler option than darker ones and they’ll also contribute to lowering the air temperature.
Some of the most effective materials for cooling a kitchen are granite and marble. They are particularly good at staying cool to the touch when the air temperature shoots up, and the added bonus is that they look great too.
If you can’t find granite or marble, quartz also works well as a worktop material as it delivers the same cooling qualities. However, it’s important to remember the surface of these materials is permanently cool – so be careful where you place your cooked plate of food as it may turn cold quicker than you think!
Keep Your Kitchen Cool in Summer with KNB
The design of your kitchen has a major impact on its temperature during warm summer months. At KNB, we know how to design and install a kitchen using the right materials so that your kitchen doesn’t overheat when the sun is shining. If you are seeking kitchen inspiration, request a brochure today.