Academic warns of 'public health disaster' over home overheating

Houses can overheat Credit: ITV News Central

An academic at Loughborough University is warning the UK faces a public health disaster if the issue of overheating in homes isn't tackled. Professor Kevin Lomas says the way many houses are built means people are unable to keep cool during Summer.

And with predictions of more frequent and intense heatwaves, Professor Lomas says the number of deaths related to overheating could triple by 2040.

  • Watch Phil Brewster's report below.

PhD student Ben Roberts has told ITV News Central more about the work the team at Loughborough University are carrying out.

  • Read more about their work below.

With more energy efficient homes and higher chance of heatwaves in the future a perfect storm has been created where during heatwaves, heat cannot escape from homes unless we stop heat from entering by shading windows and opening windows to let hot air out at the right times. Our research shows that people often do the wrong things during hot weather – like opening windows when it’s hotter outside or forgetting to close the curtains in sunny rooms. Our work in these test houses is about designing the best ways to keep homes cool using simple interventions like windows and blinds, but defining the times to use these things and at what temperatures for optimum comfort and safety during heatwaves.

Ben Roberts, Loughborough University PhD student