The long, hot summer was not without cost this year as overheated Britons spent an estimated 5 billion pounds trying to keep cool, according to a survey on Thursday.

The most popular route to keeping the temperatures at bay was the electric fan, but other means including buying bags of ice or investing in air conditioning units were also used.

According to the 2,009 adults surveyed, nearly a quarter of Britons are thought to have bought fans, spending nearly 300 million pounds in their bid to be comfortable as the mercury soared, the study from utility npower said.

The Cost of Cool also found people had to pay out for increased energy consumption, including washing clothes and themselves more often. Investing and running air conditioning systems also added to costs.

According to the findings, just over 60 percent of people washed more than twice a day and three quarters consumed more anti perspirants and body sprays.

As a nation we have become au fait with surviving the cold in comfort, while conserving energy, said environmental pundit Penney Poyzer.

But in the summer, as we hunt out cooler surroundings, energy efficiency is forgotten, which impacts on the environment as much as it does household budgets, she said.

Poyzer, who presents the BBC's energy efficiency show No Waste Like Home said Britons should start preparing for future heatwaves with as much environmental caution as they do winter weather.

Top tips to save energy include:

Switching fans off when people are not in the room.

Choose short cycles on the washing machine if using more regularly.

Take showers rather than baths.

Invest in home insulation.