Sales of fans soar by 640% and air conditioning units are up by 525%
Sales of fans soar by 640% and it will cost at least £300 to air condition your home as desperate Brits try to cool down in heatwave
- The UK Health Security Agency issued a Level Four heat-health alert today
- Brits are pulling out all the stops to stay cool as temperatures are set to hit 40C
- Air conditioning unit costs around 28p an hour to run, and costs quickly stack up
Sales of fans and air conditioning units are soaring as Britain struggles to stay cool ahead of record 41C (106F) highs on Monday and Tuesday.
Building materials retailer Toolstation said the heatwave had led to a 641 per cent rise in sales of its fans, while John Lewis is shifting 525 per cent more air conditioning units and 1,633% more parasols.
Air conditioning units often cost more than £300 are expensive to run. The average portable air conditioning unit costs around 28p an hour, or £19.60 if you use it every night for a week – amounting to around £80 per month.
Meanwhile, the typical 120w pedestal fan will set you back around 3.4p an hour on average, according to Uswitch, meaning leaving it on between 10pm and 8am would cost you around 33p.
One building materials retailer said the heatwave had led to a 641 per cent rise in sales of its fans
Over a whole week this would amount to £2.35 – 75p more than last summer thanks to the rise in household bills.
Interestingly, experts say mechanical fans should be used when temperatures are below 35C but not at higher temperatures as they can make dehydration worse.
The UK Health Security Agency issued a Level Four heat-health alert today covering the whole of England for both days, which warns: ‘Illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups.’
Tesco said it had sold 14 times more paddling pools over the past week than the week before, while sales of inflatable sprinklers and water games had increased by 1,568 per cent.
It is also gearing up to sell more than 9 million iced treats this week, as well as more than 900,000 packs of BBQ meat, two million packs of sausages, nearly three million punnets of strawberries and more than 5.5 million bottles of wine.
The grocer is also selling discounted cherries after the high temperatures created an unexpected glut of British-grown cherries.
Helen Sutton, ice cream and frozen desserts buying manager for Tesco, said: ‘As Brits try to cool down in the coming days, we’re predicting record numbers of customers adding ice cream and lollies to their trollies – as well as BBQ favourites like sausages and burgers.’
John Lewis reported sales of fans were up 256% on last year, while blackout curtains were up 193%.
Air conditioning units (pictured: Library image) often cost more than £300 are expensive to run. The average portable air conditioning unit costs around 28p an hour, or £19.60 if you use it every night for a week – amounting to around £80 per month
Waitrose said sales of ice cream were up 20% on last week and sun care products had soared by 220%, while searches for canned cocktails on Waitrose.com had increased by 188% on last month.
Lakeland said sales of a patio midge and mosquito repeller machine were up 53% on last week as householders planned to spend evenings outside, and the retailer had sold 20% more insulated cool bags.
Lakeland buyer Rebecca Dudley said: ‘Customers have been flooding to us for the best summer buys, from cooking outside to keeping bugs away, perfectly in time for the heatwave.’
Meanwhile, Londoners have been advised to download an app that lets users know their nearest water refill station.
The Refill app’s map shows the hundreds of public water fountains available in the centre of London as well as thousands of locations in the capital including Costa Coffee, Greggs and Morrisons stores that have signed up to offer free drinking water.
Steve Hynd, policy manager at City to Sea, the charity behind the app, said: ‘As the UK heats up this weekend, it’s important people know where to access free drinking water to stay hydrated and to stay safe.
‘Small regular sips of water is going to be key as temperatures could soar above 30 degrees. The Refill app lets people do this without buying expensive and polluting single-use plastic water bottles.’
Health officials urged Britons to ‘look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions’ – while the Met Office issued its first-ever ‘red’ extreme heat warning today.
Health officials urged Britons to ‘look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions’ – while the Met Office issued its first-ever ‘red’ extreme heat warning today
Meteorologists said there is now an 80 per cent chance of breaking the all-time UK record of 38.7C (101.6F) set in Cambridge on July 15, 2019 – a probability that is up from 60 per cent earlier today, and 30 per cent on Monday.
Parts of London are now set to hit 41C (106F) both next Monday and Tuesday, according to BBC Weather – and either would break the record, which itself overtook a previous high of 38.5C (101.3F) in Kent on August 10, 2003.
Forecasters had already this week issued an ‘amber’ heat warning – for only the third time ever – from Sunday to Tuesday for most of England and Wales. But today this was extended to all of England and Wales and southern Scotland – and upgraded to an unprecedented ‘red’ for parts of central and southern England, including London.
It comes as schools are preparing to send pupils home early, scrapping PE lessons and banning children from playing outside in a series of measures being considered as the country braces for the record-breaking heat.
How can I keep my house cool during the record heat?
With the weather warming up across large areas of the UK later this week, it’s more challenging than ever for those who struggle to keep cool in the heat.
So, whether you’re embracing the great outdoors this weekend or staying cool inside, here are some top tips on how to stay cool during a heatwave:
1 – KEEP COOL AND HYDRATE
According to the NHS’ Eat Well Guide, it’s recommended that you drink at least six to eight cups or glasses of water on a normal day, so during a heatwave you should try to increase this.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep you hydrated which will also help to improve your brain function and boost your attention levels.
Sadly for coffee lovers, it is best to avoid hot drinks so replace them with a tasty fruit juice or smoothie or low-sugar alternative for a refreshing drink.
2 – WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING
If you’re relaxing at home this weekend, swap your trusty loungewear bottoms with a pair of shorts or gym wear which is specially designed to be lightweight and to keep you cool during a workout.
The human body uses extremities, such as your hands and feet, to get rid of excess heat to help regulate your core temperature, so don’t forget to take your socks off too.
If you need to dress smartly for an event this weekend, opt for wearing a loose linen or cotton top to keep you cool and comfortable all day.
3 – AVOID THE WARMEST ROOMS
If your house gets a lot of sunlight, try moving to a cooler space in your house, whether that’s a room with less windows or one on the north-facing side of your house. Or try closing the curtains in rooms that face the sun and only open the windows in the cooler parts of the day to avoid letting hot air in.
Turn off any electrical appliances when they’re not in use, such as your TV or laptop charger as these can generate a small amount of heat. Also try to avoid using your laptop on your knees as this can very quickly build up heat on your legs.
4 – TRY SOME ‘HACKS’ TO KEEP COOL
According to research by air conditioning provider Daikin, four in ten say people say they’ve taken a cold shower to stay cool. Six in 10 (62%) people said they’ve taken even more extreme steps, to help them survive a heatwave.
These included dunking their feet in iced water, sitting next to an open freezer door, sleeping with a damp towel over their head, putting their bedsheets in the freezer or even giving up altogether and spending the night in the garden.
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