Summers are traditionally the time of great joy, especially amongst kids, as it is the time they are off from school. Adults too normally take a break from work in the summer and make a beeline for the coast or the hills to keep away from the concrete jungle’s heat quotient. Escaping from the heat is always an option, but if you’re among those who is trapped at home in the maddening summer heat, don’t despair and read on about the 15 ways you can keep your home cool in the summer!
1) Have a green thumb: Plant trees in the lawn of your home, if you live in a housing society, make a day out of it and get all your neighbours involved in planting trees in the building compound.
2) Decrease the humidity in the home: Remember, one of the contributors to the increase in heat is high humidity. For starters, shift all your indoor plants to the outdoors for the season. Invest in a dehumidifier, that will help dry the air, making it easier for your ceiling fan, or air cooler to cool effectively.
3) No air conditioning, no problem: Most people despair at the thought of no AC. Remember that while the AC is a great way to cool the home down, it could be murder on the electricity bill. Use a small table fan whenever possible, as it cools just the place you’re sitting in, without costing a fortune in electricity bills.
4) Water your walls: If you live in a cottage or bungalow, you might consider watering the walls of the home, once every couple of days in order to keep the home cooler. Living in a flat, simply use a wet rag to wash your walls and you will find that the entire space seems cooler.
5) Bright idea: Replace all your incandescent bulbs with CFLs or compact fluorescent lighting. Incandescents cost less than CFLs but produce a tonne of heat along with lighting, making the air around most hot and unpleasant.
6) Unplug electronic equipment when not in use, or use a “smart” power strip to completely power off electronics; most electronics use electricity—and generate heat—even when they are turned off.
7) Simplicity: When outdoor air is cooler than indoor air, just opening windows and doors to let air flow through our houses can have a natural cooling effect.
8) Open up, let the light and breeze in: To help keep the indoors cool, open windows in the cooler evening and morning, then close them when the afternoon heats up. Avoid cooking during the hottest part of the day to prevent adding heat to your home.
9) Use old tech: Ceiling fans are an effective way to help keep room occupants cool, but they don’t cool spaces so turn them off when you leave the room.
10) Replace whenever you must: Replace old electricals and appliances like refrigerators, fans and cooling units once they’ve completed their life cycle. For instance, the life cycle of a ceiling fan is around 5 years or so, if you have a ceiling fan that is approximately that old, you should consider replacing it as there is a possibility that the fans motor may not be able to handle the load and strain of the heat.
11) Step in the shade: Well-placed awnings and plants can help shade your home’s exterior, lightening the load on your air conditioner.
12) Reduce bathing energy cost: Take cold showers instead of a hot bath. It will help reduce the home’s heating bill and will also help keep the home cooler.
13) Eco friendly blinds: Made from bamboo, these mat style window blinds are extremely effective in keeping the heat out. So effective are they, that they are still used in many parts of the world with no access to air conditioning.
14) Use smooth white linen to cover your beds and upholstery: Use light-colored cotton bedspreads and throw white fabrics over your sofas during the day since the upholstery fabrics are thick and make you sweaty. Light-colored fabric will reflect the heat instead of absorbing it, and the smooth texture will give you an impression of coolness.
15) Cross-ventilate: If it’s windy outside, you can create a breeze inside your home by strategically opening your windows. When the wind blows against a building, it creates a high-pressure area on the side where it hits and a low-pressure area on the opposite side. As the wind naturally moves from the high pressure area to the low pressure one, opening the windows on both sides of your home will allow the air to move through the house, creating a breeze.
Air conditioning isn’t the only way to ensure that your home remains cool and fresh in the summer, following these easy to imbibe tips will make a huge difference to the coolness quotient of your home this summer.
Richard Deloitte, is an interior consultant, electrical expert and writer. He advises clients about home electricals like ceiling fans, CFLs and helps them pick out the best possible ones for their home, with its decor in mind.