Tips to keep homes cool, this summer
April 24th, 2018
The great Indian Summer is finally here and it is doing what it does best – heat up things! As we move into the peak summer months of April to June it can get quite difficult to go about our lives even as each summer day leaves behind burning memories. Having said that, there are many ways and means to keep homes and yourself cool this summer and all you need to do is follow these little but relevant tips.
Cooling the Roof: This is a traditional method that has gained popularity over time and can be very effective. You can white-wash your roof and this could bring down the temperature in your home by 5-10 degrees. A white-wash of a few layers can go a long way in helping the home go cooler. There are also various cooling paints in the market which have higher ‘Heat Reflective Value’ that helps reflect the heat off the roof providing that cooling effect to your home. Do not be too bothered and confused about various brands, almost all good brands have good use for cooling your roof.
Plug-off Refrigerator: It is a known fact that your refrigerator, while cooling food items contributes to a lot of heat inside your home. Not just that, it also contributes to the high consumption of energy. This summer, try to minimise your refrigerator usage and if possible, switch it off for a few days at least.
A very traditional and yet useful mechanism and a good alternative to your refrigerator is the use of—Earthen Pots. Earthen or Terracotta pots help cool the water and maintain lower temperatures in the home. It is a trial-tested and trusted method since ages and it always works.
Khus Khus to rescue: Khus Khus carpets or mats are made up of special kind of grass and reeds. These mats can be soaked in water and hung across windows or doors, they have the ability to block the heat from going inside and the water in the mats evaporates slowly ensuring a cooling effect inside your home. There are other kinds of Khus Khus mats which have water pipes which help in drip wetting and keep the mat wet and ensure continuous cooling.
Drip the Curtains: Another simple and yet innovative trick is to drip the bottom of your curtains and blinds and switch on the fan. As the water slowly seeps upwards the breeze will ensure coolness to the room.
Plants all around: Leafy plants are a great way to bring in fresh breeze even as they absorb a lot of heat coming into your homes. Placing fairly large potted plants closer to the windows helps them absorb the incoming heat and create a cool atmosphere.
Replace incandescent lights: If you are still one of those home owners who has an array of incandescent bulbs all over the place, this is a good time to make the switch. Research says that incandescent bulbs emit a lot of heat wasting about 90% of their energy towards that. Replacing them with CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lights will help not only reduce heat but bring in a cooler effect to your rooms.
Un-plug Appliances: This summer, try something different – use your appliances as less as you can. Be it your microwave or heater, turn them off to the maximum possible extent. It is obvious that all plugged appliances generate huge amounts of heat creating that repelling warn environment in your home, especially so in your kitchen. Un-plugging these can help cool your home.
Cook Outdoors: Cooking outdoor can be a great fun activity, especially if its done with family and friends. In fact, it would be a great thing if you can move most of your cooking to the garden outside as the heat generated quickly dissipates into the atmosphere. For all home owners who do not have a garden area, it would be good to place a few of your cooking appliances such as microwave, juicers, etc. either in your balcony or in the veranda. Of course, it goes without saying that you will need to keep these away from children and pets.
Anti-clockwise air spread: In case you are not already aware, it is of interest to know that most ceiling fans have a small switch at the bases. This switch helps the fans circulate or blow air both in the clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Turn the switch to help the ceiling fans circulate the air forward and in an anti-clockwise direction and this will force the air downwards helping to cool the room.
Blinds-On: Keep the blinds on so as to avoid letting the heat inside. To ensure it is not too dark inside the rooms, you can go with light coloured blinds that will provide the dual advantage of letting some light inside while absorbing much less heat.
Water and more Water: While a lot is said on how to keep your home cool what matters very much is how cool you keep your body. The summer can have a devastating effect on your health and body causing a lot of water loss. Drinking lots of water in regular intervals helps your body rejuvenated and cool while helping the heat off your body. The dual approach of keeping both your body and home cool is what can help you ride through this summer in a pleasant manner.