6 natural ways to keep your house cool this summer
Summer does not bring along with it just the heat and the humidity – summers also mean power cuts, high electricity bills due to constantly running fans and air conditioners, sun burns or heat strokes and mosquitoes to list out a few things. There are also many things that we look forward to in summer – juicy mangoes, luscious litchis and cooling watermelons, ice creams and the annual family trip home or to the hills.
As summer temperatures in India reach never-before levels, stop yourself from reaching out to switch on the air conditioning to cool down your home. Avoiding air conditioning helps in reducing your electricity bill and in turn your carbon footprint. Constant exposure to air conditioning is known to leave people vulnerable to colds and respiratory illnesses, heat intolerance and dry skin.
Survive the oppressive heat by using the following tried and tested natural methods to cool down your home this summer:
- Have bamboo blinds or curtains that will block the sunlight – Increase the number of layers between you and the sun. Use light coloured curtains and blinds to reflect away the sunlight and cool the room. Avoid dark coloured curtains in summer – these curtains tend to absorb sunlight, and thus trap the heat in the room. Blinds additionally maintain ventilation in the room.
- Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioners – Ceiling fans provide a steady, gentle breeze in the room unlike some air conditioners, which blow cold dry air into the room – something that many people find uncomfortable. Ceiling fans cost much less than air conditioners and use much less electricity compared to air conditioners.
Keep windows of your house open during early mornings and late evenings – Even on the hottest summer days, the evening air can be quite cool. Keeping the windows of your house open while the temperature outside is not very high – early mornings and late evenings – will ensure good cross ventilation. However, with many Indian cities dealing with the menace of mosquitoes, ensure that mosquito meshes are provided for in windows.
Grow plants in your gardens, terraces and balconies – Trees, plants and shrubs in the gardens, balconies or terraces help with reducing the temperatures and enhance the quality of air in a home. Trees cool a house by providing shade. Outdoor as well as indoor plants not only add to the beauty of the house – they also help conserve energy by keeping a house cool by adding humidity to the house. For plants grown on the terrace, the mud in the pots acts as an insulation against the direct scorching heat.
- Choose light colours for your home décor – Homes painted in light colours not only have a very pleasant ambience, they also reflect light and heat. Light coloured, natural fabrics should be used for curtains, upholstery and bed linen.
Use LED bulbs for homes –LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) bulbs do not cause heat build-up, whereas common incandescent bulbs get hot and contribute to heat build-up in a room. LEDs prevent this heat build-up, thereby helping to reduce air conditioning costs in a home.