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Majority of the Indian Subcontinent is subject to the wrath of summer. It is that time of the year that the temperatures are at an all-time high. While the heat has us staying indoors more than being outdoors, there is no respite from the sweltering summer indoors either. Here are some simple ways in which you can alter your homes to make them more summer friendly. What’s better is that these tips are easy, eco-friendly and economic.
1. Reduce surface area exposed to the sun:
If you are living on higher floors, or your roof is exposed to the sun, the temperature indoors is going to be quite high. It is advisable to cover the roof with plants and create shaded areas that will prevent the absorption of heat. The mud in the plants soaks up the heat, preventing the increase in temperature. Likewise, it would be ideal to introduce plants in your balcony. They cool the air, cleanse it and make the space more welcoming during the hot summer days.
2. Colour theory to deflect light:
A time tested strategy to deflect heat- use light colours both indoors and outdoors to make your spaces cooler. White is the best option as an exterior paint as it deflects heat. Using a light colour palette indoors- ranging from summery shades of light colours like yellow, blue etc to pastel hues of the same will keep your indoors cool and breezy looking. Use of dark colours makes the space look more claustrophobic and absorb heat too. So, make sure that you are avoiding dark and intense colours in your home or on the exterior if you want to deflect heat.
3. Sun and shade:
If you are still building your home, invest in double glazed windows as they are great to not just cut out the noise, but the heat too. But if it’s too late for that, you can control the amount of heat and light that gets into your home by installing the right blinds and keeping your windows closed. Use light weight but opaque blinds to keep the light out, or install Roman blinds that you can use to keep the excessive light out. Open your windows in the evening or early morning to let in the cool breeze, but keep them closed to prevent the scorching heat of the day from entering inside. Modulated entry of light and heat is the simplest technique to control indoor temperature.
Cross ventilation is another important factor that you need to take care of. Make sure that there is enough circulation of fresh air indoors. The placement of windows and openings should be such that it encourages easy and smooth flow of the natural breeze.
Blocking out path of natural winds is often a result of bad architectural planning, so one should ensure that right at the conceptual level- path of the wind is studied and included in the design of your home.
4. Replace heavy upholstery:
Pack away thick rugs, heavy drapes and synthetic bedspreads as all these absorb a lot of heat. These are not suited for summers and are best avoided. Replace these with lighter, natural fabrics like cotton, jute etc. They are eco-friendly, easy to find and are ideal for the summers as they are both skin friendly and do not soak up heat.
Our Psychology plays an important role in diverting our time. Often, a crowded room invokes a sense of claustrophobia. The more the number of items, the more heat they tend to absorb. Hence, decluttering is essential if you want to make your home look cool and airy. Store away items that you do not need, leaving the bare essentials to use. This will make the space appear larger and allow better circulation of air.
6. Replace lights:
More the number of lights, the more heat they release. Yellow lights tend to release more heat so it is advisable to replace these with white lights. Replace these yellow lights with LEDs and CFLs as they are more eco-friendly. Since the sun is out for a longer period of time, avoid using artificial lighting- this will not only help you save up on electricity but also keep your indoor spaces free of heat emitted from lights. It is also advisable to service air conditioners on regular intervals to keep your home cool this summer.
7. Switch off appliances:
Electrical appliances emit heat when supplied with electricity. Every small step you take will help you cut down the heat emitted in your home making it much cooler. Switch off appliances when not in use.
8. Use the heat to keep you cool:
Solar energy is one of the most efficient sources of energy that has still not been appreciated to its maximum capacity. Use solar panels to generate electricity to run fans, lights etc. This is a very economic option that is eco-friendly too. It ensures that you are using the summer light to its maximum potential instead of depleting other forms of energy.
The heat can really be a troublesome part of summer. But it also brings with it the rich harvests, bright flowers and the many gifts of spring that blend seamlessly with summer. Make sure that you are making most of the summer by utilising abundant natural light in varied forms. Using these simple techniques will help you keep your indoors cool and welcoming. Hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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