Londoners overheating in summer sun

Londoners are feeling the summertime heat at home and that could have an influence on their homebuying choices.

A survey by consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff found that 83% of Londoners suffered from uncomfortably hot homes this summer. Overheating affected residents in newer homes significantly more than those in older homes, with more than half of respondents saying that their homebuying decisions would be influenced by overheating. More than half of those whose home felt uncomfortably hot this summer report being woken up in the night, and almost a third say they felt tired or unwell as a result of their home overheating.

According to government figures, approximately 2,000 UK deaths are caused by overheating each year, and this could worsen by the middle of the century when very hot summer days are projected to be 6.5°C warmer.  The hottest day of the year could be 10°C higher than the hottest day today by the end of the century, according to Mayor of London figures.

The survey of more than 1,000 Londoners, which was carried out by ComRes, found:

  • 83% suffered from overheating in their home at least once in summer 2015, 53% at least occasionally, 11% say their home was uncomfortably hot most of the time and 4% say this was the case all the time
  • Only 13% of Londoners never suffered from their home overheating in summer 2015
  • 54% say overheating would influence their decision when buying a home
  • 8% of Londoners whose home was uncomfortably hot in summer 2015 have already taken action and installed air conditioning.

Barny Evans, energy and sustainability expert at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “The mild, wet summer hasn’t stopped residents feeling the heat. Avoiding overheating is becoming as important to some people’s health in southern cities as beating the cold, and Londoners will continue to suffer from gradually increasing outside temperatures whilst being ever more likely to live in hotter new homes or flats.”

“It’s startling that already 8% of those suffering from overheating have had to install their own air conditioning. 72% opened their windows to cope but in the future this won’t help and isn’t always an option. If building design and regulations aren’t changed now the impact on health will worsen, productivity will reduce, energy consumption will increase, and the long term value of homes will be affected.”

David Bownass, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff building services director, added: “Newer homes and flats are better insulated to cope with cold weather, but are consequently hotter in summer.”

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