Summers are here! While this may be good news for a few, most of us dread the hot summers. It means having to go thought humid, sticky and dry weather. Its hot outside and you’re trying to keep cool inside, might be a big problem. I personally despise the summers. Don’t you hate that feeling, you’re feeling all sweaty and sticky, and there’s nothing much you can do about it except to just switch on the air conditioner and bask in its cool air. The hot sun beating down makes the temperature of our homes and rooms to rise rapidly. While almost 80 % of us use air conditioners, we can save up a lot of money by opting for some natural cooling tips. Did you know air conditioners release about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide annually? That is about two tons per home. Beside if you think getting an air conditioner will solve all your problems, will think again. Not only does it require a huge amount of money for the whole installation and running process, you’ll also end up raking in a huge electricity bill. The good news is that by simply following a few tips you can definitely keep yourself cool.
10. Use fans properly
Many people don’t know how to use fans properly. In addition to your ceiling fans, you can get a few stand-alone fans too and put them in your rooms. A stand-alone fan on low setting can help keep a light and cool breeze blowing through your room and this will cool up your room within minutes. Ceiling fans also help; they reduce heat in the summer and can be used during the winters too. Make sure they are in the right part of the room preferably in the center, because you need the air down, not sideways or upside. Also make sure to switch of your fans as soon as you leave the room. You can also get a table fan if you like, they work wonders. If you don’t like one blowing right on your face, you can place it near the window to circulate fresh air.
9. Stay Cool
You can also keep your room cool by making use of passive or natural cooling. Your room heats up when the temperature rise so the alternative would be to keep the heat building up in the first place. The main source of heat building up in your room is sunlight which is absorbed by our walls, floors and windows. The other sources are appliances that generate heat. Instead of using your appliances during the day, for instance your dishwasher or washing machines, operate them during the evenings. This will delay your heat generating activities and your rooms will not heat up that much during the day. Or you can employ more efficient methods such as hand washing your dishes or replacing your washing machines with a more cost friendly and efficient model.
8. Reflect the heat away
This includes your walls and floors. Rooms that are dull and dark colored absorb about 70% of the sunlight and this energy is transferred to your homes through conduction raising the temperature. You can opt for light and summery walls in white or cream colors or if your prefer wall papers; get the ones that are light and not dark and dull. White walls absorb less heat than dark walls. Vibrant and sunny wall papers instantly cheer you up. Light colored surfaces and walls reflect most of the heat away. Also keep your floors cool. Don’t go for a heavy carpet because it will only absorb more heat. Don’t put anything on your floors, which will keep if from being cool.
7. Window Coverings
One of the best option to prevent the heat form getting inside your rooms is to lock all your windows, curtains and blinds when you’re not home. Most of the heat that builds up in your rooms comes through the windows. If you’re at home and don’t want all your windows open, cover them. You can go for reflective window coatings that are made of plastic and they also prevent glare and keep your furniture from fading. Windows facing east get the sun in the morning and west facing windows get the hotter and stronger afternoon sun. You can also install bamboo shades or tightly woven screens to keep the heat away during the daytime or you can install white window shades or mini blinds. Mini blinds help reduce heat by about 50 %.Installing e-films is also an excellent option as they reduce light transmission and keep the room dark, thereby preventing buildup of heat.
6. Reduce Heat sources
A lot of heat is also generated inside the house by electrical appliances and light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs only reflect 5 % light and the rest of it is heat. They are major heat generators so instead you can use the more energy efficient LED bulbs or fluorescent light bulbs. They use less energy and give less heat and they are also very inexpensive and last much longer than regular incandescent bulbs. Don’t use bulbs during the day; instead make use of daylight to illuminate your rooms. You can also consider cooking food in microwave ovens as they generate almost no heat and use less heat than gas or an electric range. Or you can enjoy the cool evening by going for a barbecue grill. You can replace your computers and televisions by opting for more modern and efficient models.
Nothing feels better than a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Natural ventilation is one option that can reduce the heat but make sure you open your doors and windows only during the coolest part of the day and not during the afternoons. Ventilations works best during the night and on cooler days. During night time you can open up all your windows and the air will circulate keeping your rooms cool. Leave your interior doors open to allow air flow and open selective windows so the cool night air keeps flowing in throughout the evening. If you live in areas with hot and humid climates, ventilate when the humidity levels are the lowest.
4. Switch of the lights
It’s always a good idea to switch of all sources of light when you’re not at home. This not only saves energy but it also prevents heat from accumulating inside your room during the day. It can also affect the room temperature during the day. This also goes for all your electrical appliances. When you’re not using them, switch them off. Many of the electronic devices such as computers and televisions stay hot for a long time so shut them off as soon as you’re done using them. Many electronics stay hot even on standby mode. Remove all plug ins and power adapters when not using them.
A number of methods such as insulation, weather-stripping and caulking prevent your homes from getting hot during the summer. You can start insulating the attic since it is a main source of heat gain. If the attic remains cool, the rest of the upper rooms will also stay cool. If you don’t have an attic, you can go for reroofing or insulating the roof with a reflective coating. Hot air can also enter your room through poorly sealed doors, electrical outlets and windows and though openings in walls. You can prevent this by caulking or weather stripping which will reduce air leakage. If you live in rise high buildings and own a roof, you can keep your roofs cool by spraying cold water. This way your rooms will not heat up.
2. Use Shading
Shading can help prevent heat buildup by a large amount. Exterior shade options such as mesh solar screens, and reflective film on windows can block up to 70% solar heat. You can put up dark shades outside over your windows and even doors if it is right out in the sun. Shutters and rolling shutters are also good option. Shutters are usually made of wood and when closed, keep the sunlight out. They also provide privacy and security. Use draperies and curtains made of light material and tightly woven opaque fabrics help prevent the heat form getting in .You can use more than one layer of drapery. Venetian blinds are also used a lot. They can be so used to let in some light and air while reflecting the sun’s heat outside.
1. Plant Trees
This is one of the most beautiful and effective way to keep your rooms’ cooler. Plant tress that require minimum care as well as more bushes and shrubs. A well placed bush can be an effective shade and block the sun. If you live in multi storied buildings or apartments, get lots and lots of green plants and pots. Planting trees also drastically reduces the temperature of the surrounding area. Trees add more greenery and are also beneficial for the atmosphere. They also reduce pollution and heat. Grass covered lawn also keeps the area cool and is more effective than bare ground.