Overheated houses in the UK – is it a growing problem?

Overheated houses in the UK – is it a growing problem?

When we think of overheating in domestic properties, the majority of us imagine this being a problem in exotic locations that enjoy an endless supply of glorious sunshine, right?

With this in mind, you might be surprised to hear that overheating in UK homes is a growing problem, especially in those that do not have air conditioning.

A new study conducted by Kevin J Lomas and Stephen M Porritt, at Loughborough University’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, has revealed that overheating is a nationwide problem that has the potential to render buildings uninhabitable, and can be potentially lethal during the summer months.

This is because the UK’s temperate climate means that the housing market invest far more emphasis on heat retention, rather than installing domestic air conditioning units that are perfect for keeping domestic and commercial spaces cool and comfortable during the warmer months.

As a result, AC units are uncommon in the vast majority of properties throughout the UK, meaning overheating is a problem that has been noted in both old and new properties.

Overheating not only makes a space unbearably hot and uncomfortable, but it can also affect the health and wellbeing of homeowners, and in severe cases can even result in premature mortality amongst vulnerable members of society.

At the moment, building regulations state that there is no regulatory consideration for design that is equipped to control overheating during the warmer months.

And although the report indicates that summer heat mortality is far less common in the UK, experts have warned that by 2040, climate change could mean that summer heat waves will be the norm in the UK, meaning heat related deaths could treble by the 2050s.

With this in mind, experts haves stated that building regulations should place as much emphasis on setting minimum standards for keeping domestic spaces cool and comfortable, as they do when it comes to reducing heat loss and optimising ventilation.