India’s summer is notoriously known for its soaring temperatures. Be it North or South, the heat remains the same and during the months of April and May, going outdoors during the day is extremely uncomfortable. We tend to use a lot of electricity during this season. I remember back when we installed the first air-conditioner in our home. It used to run for over 10 hours every day. Then, we got 3 more air-conditioners; one for each room. It wasn’t until recently that I found out using too much electricity is in fact an addition to the heat and humidity.
So, given the quandary, how do we beat the heat? Here are a few tips to keep your house cooler without turning on a lot of switches.
When I was young, I remember helping mom in the garden. I didn’t do much gardening but I loved playing with the water hose. Summer is in fact the best season for gardening. Not only do plants get plenty of sunshine, they also keep your house cool. Bet you didn’t know that! Here’s how that works. Keeping small plants inside your house will ensure that they absorb the humidity within. Keep plants near wall corners and some smaller ones near windows.
Apart from air-conditioners, fans are the most common electrical appliance that are always turned on during the summer. But, did you know that fans need to be adjusted every season. That’s right! Fans can be adjusted to spin clockwise and counter-clockwise and from different speeds. These controls are generally available in the fan and must be changed manually. By spinning, counter-clockwise, the fan’s airflow will create a cooler breeze, something that’s much needed to survive the summer.
Ensure that you renew your AMC (annual maintenance contract) for your A/C every year. Servicing it 3-4 times a year is simply enough to add at least 5 more years to the life of your A/C. Make sure you don’t leave the stabiliser on when it’s not in use. Maintain the A/C temperature based on your room temperature. If you feel that your A/C is too old and has been working for many years, it’s better if you replace it with a new one. Even if you don’t plan on taking an AMC, you can simply clean out your air filter every 3 months to make sure that you breathe in clean, cool air.
Adding exhaust fans will always lead to a cooler living. It will help suck out all the humid air circulating within the house. Exhaust fans are necessary in rooms that are sure to become hotter and where there are no ceiling fans. Commonly, people install exhaust fans in their kitchens and bathrooms. Remember, keeping all rooms in your house cooler is the goal. Make sure that you don’t leave exhaust fans turned on for a longer duration as it might suck out even the cooler air.
Make sure your windows are open and curtains are closed during the day. This will help filter the direct heat and give you a calming effect indoors. While you’re at it, keep your curtains light and airy. Go for light-weight cotton curtains over thicker curtains which could block any kind of breeze.
Did you know that hanging a damp sheet (not dripping wet) on windows will make your room cooler. You can either replace your curtains with cool sheets or simply dip them in a bucket of water and ensure that it’s not dripping wet. When hot air hits the cool sheets, the temperature drops and the resultant breeze is cooler.
Did you also know that the incandescent light bulbs that you use can turn up the room temperature. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit. It is time to take up LED bulbs, which wastes lesser energy in comparison to incandescent bulbs and lower your electric bill.
Make your rooms, well… roomy. Having a spacious room is the best way to reduce room temperatures. Declutter your room. Remove unnecessary furnitures and other unnecessary items that are taking up space. Spacious rooms will make a huge difference.
While it is necessary to keep the room temperature down, the most vital temperature you should focus on, is your body’s. Rising temperatures can not only make your skin sticky and increase perspiration levels, but also keep you thirsty and dehydrated. You will have to keep yourself cool by drinking 6-8 litres of water everyday. In between them, have some icy mocktails and beverages. During the afternoons, apply a cold cloth to highly sensitive areas such as your neck, wrists and ankles. One of the most easiest ways is to take cool showers at least twice a day.