We all know that keeping cool in our tropical climate is a big big thing to go, especially during the hotter months, where the afternoons make us think we’re at the Sahara Desert (but we are not). While there are some out that who are just as concerned about keeping homes cooling but not at the expense of exorbitant bills, others would be concerned on just keeping homes cooling. As such, there are various different pointers that may apply to either or both these groups of individuals that we hope you will find useful.
1. Fans and Ceiling Fans
Fans and Ceiling Fans are a great cost-saving alternative to air-conditioners, as they help to bring down the temperature in your rooms by a few degrees lower with the huge saving in electricity bill. Not only that, it keeps the air moist as unlike to a drier air when air-conditioners are used.
Strategically placed fans may even bring those degrees down a little more. Having fans placed near windows, pointing outwards, helps to push out the hot air. And setting a ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise pulls hot air away from your room.
2. Shades, drapes or blinds
Instead of black, have white alternatives installed as white helps in reflecting heat away from your homes. Having them installed in east-facing windows would help in shielding out morning light, and west-facing windows to block off the scorching afternoon sun.
Ultimately, the best solution to keeping homes cool is to keep heat out.
But if you are stuck with windows which bring in strong sunlight and wind, it is best to get blinds/screens that allow air to flow through and at the same time shield off the blinding sun, such as the ones below.
A new trend, as opposed to old-school solutions of blackout curtains, are solar films and roller blinds. The former is a thin layer of film that essentially blocks out heat (and noise for some) while still letting in natural light into the home. The latter has properties similar to Blinds and Curtains but is easy to install and maintain and requires much lesser colour/material coordination than curtains and blinds.
4. Internal Heat
Other than trying to keep heat from getting into the house, another important factor in keeping the house cool is to minimise the creation of internal heat, and some of the more commonly found heat creating sources are household appliances, devices and lights. Be sure to keep them away from your air-conditioning thermostats as having these heat generators near the thermostats will only make them run longer and work harder to keep the air cool for you, and it would only increase the electrical bill too much more than it has to. This will, in the long run, shorten the lifespan of your air-conditioners. Do also remember to switch off these sources if they are not in use.
Incandescent bulbs can also be replaced with compact fluorescents, as they use a fifth of the energy and heat while producing the same light. This is another way in reducing heat sources within your homes. Unless necessary, do consider opting for fluorescent bulbs instead (though they are notorious for the steely cold white glow as compared to warm lighting from incandescent bulbs), as they will keep your homes cooler.
And if possible, do avoid heat-generating activities on hot days, or during the hottest time of the day. If necessary, do use the range fan to vent off hot air out of your house, as it would take lesser energy and time to cool your house down.
5. Choice of Fabric for your cushions and beds
As opposed to most beliefs that satin and silk are great choices in our hot weather, consider cotton bed linens and in light colours. Being natural, cotton is breathable and that alone helps making your sleeping experience a better one.
6. Other Things to Remember
- Do you know that humidity makes the room feels warmer? Try reducing humidity indoors by avoiding activities that increase humidity during the hottest time of the day – like washing and drying clothes, or cleaning and cooking. And if needed, to vent off moisture with ventilating fans or air vents.
- Check your air conditioning units regularly, and see that they are in tip-top condition. This will help cool down your rooms faster, and more efficiently.
- Choice of colours – Another good tip to keep your home feeling cool is keeping it visually so, by selecting white (reflects heat), or pale/light colours as opposed to dark and heavy shades.
While there are many more tips towards making your home a more cooling place to live in, we do hope that the above pointers would help you plan ahead, or inform you that there are such solutions that you may use during those few awfully hot months. The bottom line is to keep your homes simple and decluttered, and of course, unplugged whenever possible.
Do drop by The Furniture Mall for a great selection of Furniture and Furnishings that can help in reducing the heat trapped in your homes during the hot seasons.