The sun has finally come out (for a while, anyway) and the temperature is rising. For most of us, it’s a truly joyous time of year – ice creams for the kids, cocktails in the garden and barbecues galore. For those whose homes get unbearably hot, however, it can be anything but – with energy-sapping days and sleepless nights. And it’s even more of an issue if you are working from home, as there is no escape.

There are some things you can do, though, to make your home a little more comfortable without having to go to the expense (and the running costs) of buying an air conditioner.

1) The best (and most obvious) course of action is to create some sort of through-draft. Ideally, that means opening windows on two different sides of a building. It’s not a disaster if all your windows are on the same side – just open up the windows in all the rooms and keep the doors open between them (wedge them open if necessary, as they often blow shut).

2) If you’ve got them, you should also open up any rooflights. Warm air rises, so it is an extremely effective way of allowing any built-up heat to escape.

3) Even if you have just one opening window, you can still point a fan at it and it will blow out some of the hot air and create something approaching a through breeze.

4) For those who have sash windows, try opening both the top and the bottom panels -the theory is that cool air enters at the bottom and exits via the top.

5) If your windows are south-facing, it’s best to keep curtains and blinds closed until the sun has moved away. At the same time, keep the windows open as they can still generate a breeze. If it is practical, you could also apply some solar control window film which is claimed to cut down heat gain by as much as 77%. Alternatively, you could fix some awnings to the outside of the windows.

6) One of the lesser-known hacks to a cooler home is to leave bowls of water around the house or even wet sheets – the evaporation process can cool the air.

7) House plants will do a similar job, as they will also release moisture into the air.

8) Fans are always useful but one of the cleverer hacks is to place a bowl of iced water in front of them, ensuring the air they blast around the room is super-chilled.

9) Household electrical equipment can contribute significantly to the problem as they often generate considerable amounts of heat. Avoid using tumble dryers, dishwashers and ovens. Dry your clothes outside and cook on the barbecue. And don’t forget to turn off lights, computers and TVs when you are not using them. Buying some low energy bulbs can also make a big difference, especially if you are replacing halogen ones, which are typically used in recess downlighters. They put out so much heat they will burn you if you touch them.

It’s at night we suffer the most, so you’ll be glad to hear there are some excellent tips for keeping you cool in bed.

1) Before you go to bed, take a cold shower – it will bring your body temperature down at just the right moment.

2) Ditch the duvet and stick to sheets. And make sure those sheets are made from natural materials. There’s also a whole range of extras aimed at making your bed cooler, from special mattress toppers to heat controlling pillows. You can even buy a flexible silicone ice pack, which you slip into the bottom of your pillowcase.

3) For those on a budget, the freezer is your best friend. You can freeze anything from sheets to pyjamas and pillowcases. Just pop them into a sealable bag! Another great tip is to fill a hot water bottle and then freeze it.

If, after all that you’re still too hot, you’ll just have to admit defeat and buy yourself a portable air conditioner. Prices start from about £300-£400 but be warned, that’s just the start of it, as they cost a fortune to run.