The UK is in the grip of a heatwave and keeping cool is now high on many people’s priority list – but at what cost?

The mercury isn’t the only thing hitting record highs - energy bills are also skyrocketing so finding ways to chill out without breaking the bank is more challenging than ever.

Money moving website,, has compared the most common tactics to dial down the heat, revealing the most cost-effective.

Unsurprisingly it’s air con topping the pricelist while right at the bottom is a cost-free suggestion. Other methods considered include the ever-popular floor fan and often-overlooked blackout curtains.

READ MORE: Heatwave triggers escaping snake alert from RSPCA

READ MORE: Pets at Home & Vets4Pets' tips on keeping pets cool in heatwave

What weather warnings mean

How much it costs to cool your home

Number crunchers at used the average bill as a baseline – assuming these methods of cooling down are in addition to what energy is typically used each month.

For the average household, gas and electricity combined typically costs around £111.92 per month. Of course, variables such as the size of your household, how many people are living in it, and seasonality will all affect this price.

Is air conditioning expensive to run?

Estimated energy usage: £111.92 + £138 = £249.92

Air conditioning is not the most popular choice in the UK, due to the limited occurrences of extreme heat here, but there’s no denying it does do a great job of rapidly cooling down spaces in the peak of summer.

However, on the downside, the costs to run one may put you off ever switching it on again. A 7kw air conditioner will use around 23p an hour, or £4.60 a day assuming you had the unit running for 20 hours.

Over the course of a month, that equates to an additional £138 a month on top of your standard energy usage.

Cost of running a fan

Lancashire Telegraph: Fans are a relatively economical way of cooling down during the heatwave. Picture: CanvaFans are a relatively economical way of cooling down during the heatwave. Picture: Canva

Estimated energy usage: £111.92 + £12 = £123.92

Floor and desk fans fly off the shelves during a heatwave – the obvious choice for Brits wanting to get the still air circulating.

Assuming you don’t need to go out and buy a new fan, they are also a fairly cost-effective way to cool down.

The average 110kw fan will use around 2p an hour, or 40p per day if on for 20 hours. A huge difference to the air con, it only adds an extra £12 per month on energy.

Ceiling Fan energy usage

Estimated energy usage: £111.92 + £1.80 = £113.72

More commonly seen abroad, or in homes last decorated in the 1980s, they are an effective option for keeping rooms a bit cooler. Even better, they are extremely economical, using just 6p per day or £1.80 worth of energy per month.

Of course, if you don’t already have ceiling fans fitted, the cost of installing them is going to bump that price up significantly.

How much do Blackout blinds cost?

Estimated costs: £111.92 energy + £31.99 one off cost = £143.91

Reflecting the suns rays away from your home is a great way to keep your home’s indoor temperature down and blackout blinds do just that.

A standard blackout blind will set your back around £31.99 as a one-off payment but is a potentially worthwhile long-term investment if you have the cash available upfront.

When to open your windows in a heatwave

Estimated energy usage: £111.92 + £0

Of course, the most cost-effective way to cool your home down is not to rely on any gadgets at all and instead, be tactical about how you use your windows.

Open windows in the morning and evening when it’s cooler, even keep them open all night too if it’s safe to do so, and close them before it gets too hot to avoid letting the hot air in.