Coping with extreme temperatures in student accommodation

Coping with extreme temperatures in student accommodation can become a battle. Here is some advice dealing with the diverse Sheffield climate

The ever-changing weather in Britain is always the number one topic for small talk in this country. Coping with extreme temperatures in student accommodation can become a battle as climate change and rising energy costs affect how we deal with these environmental factors. Over the recent decades, it seems to be getting worse from blazing summer days and tropical nights to rivalling the hottest holiday destinations in the sun. To the extreme coldness that northerly weather systems bring from the artic. No seasons seem to be the same year on year in the UK. Here are some tips on how to cope with the diverse climate in Sheffield

Hot Summers

In 2022 the Uk government put out a Red extreme heat warning, which means there is the possible loss of life amongst fit and healthy individuals from the extreme temperatures. It is the only alert level not defined by temperature thresholds but by societal challenges. The met office has issued advice on what to expect

  • Population-wide adverse health effects experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to serious illness or danger to life. Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.
  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines will be required
  • High risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, potentially leading to localised loss of power and other essential services, such as water or mobile phone services
  • Significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

Cold winters

When we mean extreme temperatures though we have had record-breaking heat in 2022, It can quite easily go the opposite direction. Although the last few years have seen milder winters, colder weather systems from the Arctic can see temperatures drop as low as -4 centigrade (January 2022) Sheffield’s location on 7 hills and wide open spaces can mean extreme temperature drops you may not find in more densely populated cities in the North of England.

Coping with warm extreme temperatures in student accommodation

Coping with extreme heat during the day.

Although tempted to open to improve airflow it is actually suggested to keep windows closed during the day and blinds or curtains shut to help reflect heat radiating through the windows. Be careful with metal blinds and dark curtains as they absorb heat and become hot to touch.

This should especially be done if the sun shines directly through your windows during the hottest parts of the day (12-4 pm)

Once the temperature drops outside, open all windows and allow cool air to circulate around your student accommodation.

If you do find it too stuffy during the day make sure you open more than one window that will create a draft that will allow air to circulate in and out of the property.

Homemade air conditioning.

If you have got a fan, brilliant! Place a bowl of ice water or a bag of frozen peas in front of it. This will give the same effect as an air conditioning unit. If it’s really humid, leave bowls of water around your accommodation to put moisture back in the air. House plants will also add moisture back into an arid room.

Turn it off!

Electrical items (and lightbulbs) produce heat and turn them off at the plug unless necessary to be on like the fridge.

Fluids are a must

Drinking water regularly is highly recommended. Heat exhaustion can creep up on you hours after you are away from the heat. Heat stroke can land even the fit and healthy in hospital so keep hydrated whenever possible.

Coping with extreme heat during the nighttime

Open the Window

Night time can be uncomfortable in heat to sleep in. Unless you are next to a noisy main road, crank that window open and don’t shut the curtains or blinds fully.

Dress appropriately

Don’t put your quilt over you in bed or if you must be covered using a thin sheet or the duvet cover on its own

loose cotton clothing if you wear anything and starfish to maximise surface area to help you cool.

Use a fan

just as during the day a fan will circulate air around the room. As hot air rises, placing the fan on the floor will move the colder air around the room.

Have a warm shower before bed

If you’re feeling hot before heading to bed, have a warm shower. A cold one will hijack your efforts to cool down by quickly decreasing blood flow to your skin. When the blood flow starts up again, you’ll feel hot again. A warm shower increases blood flow to your skin and helps heat loss from your body.

Coping with cold extreme temperatures in student accommodation

Coping with cold temperatures during the day.

Heat the rooms

Don’t block access to the radiators with furniture and other objects, these can prevent the air around them from heating up across the room.

You can warm up hard floors by placing a rug on them, these will help retain heat in the fibres and make the floor less cold to walk on.

Keep the windows closed.

Windows and uninsulated roofs are the number one points for heat to escape from a building. Keeping the double glazing windows shut will help minimise this heat loss.

Keep the curtains open during the day and closed at night. Having them open during the day helps as much warm sunlight as possible to heat the room. Having them closed at night stops this stored heat built up during the day from escaping straight back out.

Look after yourself

Make sure you dress warmly with jumpers if you are cold. it’s easier to take them off if you are too warm than to control the heating of the room. Eating hot meals and having hot drinks will help you manage your internal body temperature and keep warm. If you’re sitting for long periods for whatever reason. getting up and moving around will help your body circulate warm blood around your body and increase your body temperature

Coping with cold temperatures during the night.

the optimal temperature for sleeping at night is between 15.6 and 19.4 degrees Celsius. If you can get your room around this your probably going in for a good night’s sleep but with extremely cold temperatures you may need a little help to keep warm.

Check for draughts

Hot air rises in a room, if there are gaps underneath doors or near windows, colder air outside the room will enter through them. Use draught excludes or a dry rolled-up bath towel can do the same trick to stop them.

Warmer tog bedding or hot water bottles

Consider using higher tog-rated bedding to keep you warmer at night. If you don’t have one a hot water bottle can be a cheaper way to heat your bed before you get in. We don’t recommend using an electric blanket. although relatively safe when used properly they still are the main cause of around 500 fires per year.

Move Your bed away from the window

If possible move your bed away from the window, as previously stated this is one of the easiest ways for heat to escape from your accommodation, again don’t block access to radiators.

Have a bath or warm shower.

A warm bath will help warm up your core temperature. If you put some nightwear over a warm radiator for before bed. This will help you keep warm as your body drifts off into sleep.

About Thornsett Properties

Thornsett Properties have been providing modern student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. All our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. We aim to help you succeed in extreme temperatures in our student accommodation in Sheffield

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