Although we all wish to avoid the discomfort of sweltering in the heat during the hot summer months, this needs to be balanced against the imperative to also save money on our energy budget – and save the environment (apparently home cooling accounts for at least 5 percent of the power we consume each year, that translates into about 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually). Although it may be tempting to switch on the AC whenever the mercury rises in order to get some quick relief, here are some methods of keeping your home cool naturally that allow you to resist that urge:
1. Keep your blinds and/or curtains drawn during the day and avoid the ‘greenhouse effect’ in miniature from taking place in your home when sunlight is allowed to stream in unimpeded. You see, when sunlight enters into your house through the windows the UV radiation is transformed into infrared radiation (heat), that can’t get back out the way it came in. In this way, your rooms can quickly turn into a sweltering furnace. Avoid this unpleasant experience by drawing curtains and blinds during the daylight hours, consider also investing in some curtains and blinds with special reflective properties so that they repel the UV rays. If you MUST have the windows in your house open and unblocked during the day, get yourself some reflective window film that lets you keep the heat outside instead of in. Knowing how to prevent your house from turning into a florid hothouse on hot sunny days is the single most important step to keeping yourself cool during the summer months without using air conditioning.
2. While the curtains and windows should be shut during the day, when dusk arrives, make sure you throw them wide open to let in the cooler evening air – whilst letting the warmer air that has accumulated during the day move OUT. In this way, your home will be cooler in the evening.
3. Keep yourself properly hydrated and regulate your body temperature by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Eat plenty of ice-creams, iced drinks, and frozen pops throughout the day as well.
4. Use wet wash-clothes and sheets, cool packs and compresses – any damp object you can place on your skin – to keep yourself cool. These are especially useful for when you go to sleep at night. Your fridge will be running anyway, so make good use of it by stocking it with some damp sheets etc.
5. Buy a special cooling pillow or sheet and use it when you go to bed for the night
6. Having regular cool or cold showers and bath throughout the day is another strategy for keeping yourself cool.
7. Get naked! Or if that makes you uncomfortable, then at least keep clothing to a bare minimum.
Keeping yourself cool in summer doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. These are just a few of the simple, homespun methods you can use to keep yourself comfortable and cool during the warmer months, and without paying a cent. Try some of them out at your place this summer.