Sweltering summers and sizzling heat sound so exotic and tropical. Great, if you can lay by the pool all day on a flamingo inflatable. Not great when you have to work, do the chores and look after the kids. Here are some ideas on how to cool down your house this summer and keep it warm in the winter.

Shade trees are an effective way to keep the sun and heat off of your house. Plant them around areas that the sun hits the most. They will provide welcome shelter from any heat that floods through your windows and walls. Consider Red Oak, Hybrid Poplar, Red Maple and Weeping Willow. Make sure the blinds and shades that cover your windows are white in colour. Also keep them shut during the day to block the sunshine out. White and lighter coloured shades will reflect the heat.

If you need to do laundry, dishwashing or cooking try and do these chores early in the morning or when the sun has gone down. All will cause your house to heat up even more. In a big heat wave, cook your meals for the week in the evening and store accordingly. Utilise your air conditioning unit. If you know a period of hot weather is on its way make sure you contact an hvac company to service your unit in preparation. Do the same before the cold sets in too. Regular servicing will make sure your unit lasts longer and can lower your utility bills.

When the heat gets too much dip your feet and pulse points in ice-cool water. Pulse-pointing prevents your body from overheating and cools your blood. Points include the back of your knees, your neck and your wrists. For bedtime make sure your sheets are cotton and use a sheet over your body instead of a duvet. For extra heat relief on summer nights, swap your pillow to one made of buckwheat. Buckwheat pillows increase the air-flow and keep hold of less heat throughout the night.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, when the bitter cold kicks in, you’ll want to change your bedding completely. Go for a duvet with a higher tog rating. It makes a huge difference!  13.5 to 15 togs are completely cosy on cold winter nights. Also, switch out your cotton sheets for flannel and fleece for extra warmth. Buy some pretty hot water bottles and wheat/rice bags that you can heat up for both day and night time hugging.

Keep your house snug and temperate with blankets in thick textures and knits and lots of cosy pillows. Throw down some extra big floor pillows for added comfort and relaxation. Create the illusion of warmth in a safe way with battery operated candles. Light regular candles only when you know you will always be in the room. Here are some more ideas to create a relaxing and ambient living space. Check that all gaps in doors and keyholes are covered. You can use cotton wool in keyholes, but for door gaps, invest or make some snazzy door snakes to make your home look inviting and pretty. Our last tip is to exercise! Do some star jumps or on the spot running to get the blood pumping and generate some heat. After burning off those calories, cosy up under a blanket and enjoy the beauty and wonder of our ever-changing seasons.