The summer months are around the corner many of us are already getting our home air-conditioners serviced or investing in a new one perhaps. After all, summers are synonymous with cranking up the AC to counter the sweltering heat. According to a report, India is all set to record a 2.2 times jump in cooling energy consumption by 2027, an alarming piece of statistics considering the amount of carbon dioxide emission this entails.
However, there are smarter alternatives to cut down on power costs, while helping preserve the environment as well. Here are a few simple tips on natural ways to keep your home cool during the oppressive summer months:
# Facilitate ventilation: Keeping doors and windows open during strategic periods like early mornings and late evenings facilitates cross ventilation, thus cooling your home. As a thumb rule, between 5am and 8am and 8pm and 10pm or beyond should be ideal for enabling this critical cross-ventilation. This allows the trapped heat inside your house to escape. Keeping the windows open during the summer nights ushers in the cool breeze.
# Use blinds, natural fabrics: Installing blinds on your windows helps keep the heat out since windows tend to absorb external heat. Closing the blinds during the scorching afternoons can help keep your rooms cooler. Steer clear of synthetic fabrics like silk, polyester or satin and even leather.
# Stick to light shades: Light pastel shades can help keep your home cool during the harsh summer months, giving your walls a fresh, clean look. Go for pastel yellow, beige, aqua or light pink. Lighter colours tend to reflect heat and light instead of absorbing them.
# Water, ice to cool home: You can soak the lower end of your curtains in water and switch on the fan. As the water seeps up through the fabric, the room is gradually filled with a cool breeze. Another simple trick is to keep a bowl of ice below the fan. As the ice gradually melts, it spreads a cool draft around the room. # Use dark curtains: Putting up cotton curtains in bright shades like brown, dark green or maroon helps keep the scorching summer sun at bay. Make sure to use thick linings to avoid fading of the fabric from the merciless sun. During the hottest periods of the day, you should keep your curtains drawn. Your room is bound to feel cooler.
# Roof treatment: Using heat-reflecting UV paint on your roof can keep the temperature in your home a few notches lower. A host of environment-friendly weatherproofing options are now available for the roof, which help reflect harmful ultraviolet rays, resulting in less heat absorption and consequently, lower energy costs.
# Switch to energy-efficient lights: Using energy-efficient lighting solutions with LED or CFL bulbs in often-used areas helps keep the apartment cooler, as opposed to conventional light bulbs which radiate too much heat, leading to fast warming of the rooms. Also make a habit of switching off the lights when not in use and also unplug electronic gadgets when you are not using those.
# Use greenery at home: You can use indoor plants and window planters to help cool and purify the air in your home by helping with the humidification process. It’s a great idea to have indoor plants like aloe vera, ficus, ferns and areca palm. Not only do they add to the aesthetics of your home, they also keep the temperature cooler by having a high transpiration rate and purifying toxins in the air.
So next time you reach out for the remote to switch on the AC, think of these simple hacks instead.
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