Sure, summers are bright and colourful!
But they also bring in hot afternoons and humid evenings that make us sweat and tire. Daily chores become a pain. And the bad news is… climate change researchers only suggest a consistent rise in average summer temperatures in the future!
Using ceiling fans and air-conditioners definitely help, but they are useless in the event of a power cut! Secondly, continuous usage of air-conditioners can swell up your electricity bill and throw your monthly budgets off kilter. What you need is a sustainable way to keep your home cooler!
Design A Home That’s Naturally Cooler!
Fret no more! Here are a few tips to build a cooler home!
... And you keep these tips handy all the time. Just download our visual guide at the end of this article!
Tip #1. Use The Airflow Effectively
Create a breeze inside your home by strategically opening your windows at opposite ends to enable cross-ventilation. While cross-ventilation is a well-known phenomenon, not many people know that time also plays a crucial factor. The best time to open the windows during summers is between 5.00 to 8.00 am in the mornings and between 7.00 to 10.00 pm in the evening when the air is still pleasantly cool.
Casement windows can be a good way to direct the incoming and outgoing breeze depending on wind direction. Elevated windows on the upper floor or higher end of the ceiling can also help flush out warm air as warm air tends to rise up.
Tip#2. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!
Check the entry points for heat – windows and ceilings. These are the surfaces that heat up the air inside and so it is necessary to reduce heat transfer from these surfaces.
Using internal blinds, shades or drapes is only part of the answer. It is also important to stop heat from hitting the windows in the first place.
This can be achieved by using awnings, bamboo or cloth rollers on the outside. Use white or light coloured outer lining to deflect maximum amount of heat.
Another low maintenance method is to use heat-deflecting window film.
Another tip would be to use wood or fabric for room dividers so that the airflow is not obstructed. This way you can entirely avoid a wall and make your living space more flexible. You can also use curved sofas to divide a room!
Ceilings also contribute to indoor heat, especially in the case of flats directly below the terrace. Installing a false ceiling is an effective way to keep the room cool.
Tip #3. Use Cooler Materials And Colours
Simply speaking, keep a light-coloured palette, including a light colour scheme for the walls. This will help reflect most of the heat as against darker colours that tend to absorb heat and trap them in. In terms of materials, marble tends to stay cool and is a good flooring option for a naturally cool home.
It is advisable to use a lighter material such as cotton for drapes, cushion covers, and bed covers. Avoid heavy materials such as silk and velvet for furniture and table linen.
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Tip #4. Use The Right Lighting
Turn off lights when not in use – especially incandescent bulbs. Not only do they consume more power and increase your electricity bills, they also radiate a lot of heat.
It’s best to replace them with cooler light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescents (CFLs).
Tip #5. Avoid Clutter!
A cool home needs to be clutter-free. Why you’d think? Too much furniture is a storehouse for heat and humidity. It traps heat and doesn’t allow free flow of air. Keeping minimal furniture will not only allow you to move around freely but also allow good airflow.
Going minimal is the new design trend. But without well-designed storage features, a busy home can’t exactly go the minimalist way!
Tip #6. Invest In A Well-Designed Kitchen
A lot of heat is generated in the kitchen while cooking. Appliances such as refrigerators generate heat leading to overall warmth in the region surrounding the kitchen. Opt for a single wall kitchen plan in case of a smaller home, to avoid cluttering.
A good way to purge the kitchen heat is to install an efficient exhaust system above the cooking range. The exhaust system works to remove the warm air and flush it out of the house. This way the warm air and cooking odour doesn’t circulate through the house.
There are plenty of hood options out there in the market. A well-chosen kitchen hood can add a dash of design to your kitchen.
Tip #7. Timeless Tip: Go Green!
Plants are natural air coolers as they breathe out oxygen while absorbing warm nuggets of carbon dioxide. So, having a green space in your house can make it naturally cooler.
Spaces such as entryways or windowsills can be utilized to nest green potted plants in an aesthetic manner. Provided there is enough space, growing trees to shade the exterior of your house has been the best-known way of beating the heat!
These are simple ways to keep your home cool throughout the year, irrespective of the season!
Need advice from the professionals? Contact Hipcouch today!
Here's a quick Visual Guide, you can download to refer later and share