Things are heating up this dry season – literally. With PAGASA reporting heat indexes of up to 44.6°C in some parts of the country, the climate has officially become rather dangerous for humans. Heat exhaustion, cramps, and heat stroke are a very real and imminent threat, so it’s best to learn how to cool your home down while waiting for the season to pass.
How to Make Your Home a Cooler Place this Summer
Draw the blinds.
Keeping the blinds closed or covering your windows up with curtains limits the amount of sunlight that can come in, which means less heat overall. No, don’t worry about the breeze not getting in through the windows – what’s the point if the wind is hot, anyway? To preserve your health and wellness in this summer heat, keeping the air inside your house cool should be your priority, as this is the air that your fans will circulate within the rooms. On the flip side, pull the aforementioned blinds up at night when the sun has gone down and the temperature outside is much lower.
Want all the benefits of air-conditioning but hesitant about a high electricity bill? Use ice. Placing a bowl of ice, some bottles filled with frozen water, or ice packs in front of a fan cools the air passing through considerably. Stock your fridge so that you can just replenish the ice as necessary.
Hot air travels up, being less dense than cold air. This means that the upper part of your house will be considerably hotter compared to the lower levels. The solution therefore is simple – stay in the first floor as much as possible, and do your best to keep the air in the second floor cool by insulating the walls and floors.
Try blackout curtains, which block sunlight and naturally provide insulation to the rooms where they’re installed. A curtain in a neutral color with white plastic backing can reduce heat considerably – up to 33%.
Switch to cotton.
Cotton is a more breathable fabric than say satin, silk, or polyester. It stays much cooler, too, and doesn’t retain heat for very long. Swap your beddings out for fresh cotton sheets and brighten up the room at the same time. You can also invest in pillows filled with buckwheat, which stay much cooler due to the air that stays between the grains. You can also look into gel toppers for both your bed and gel inserts for your existing pillows. These keep you cool while you sleep, hopefully reducing the need to keep the air-conditioning turned on.
Position your fans strategically.
Most people make the mistake of placing a fan right up against a window in the hopes of bringing in the cool breeze outside indoors. This works, but it’s not the best fan placement. Instead, place your fan across the window so that you can be cooled from two directions at once – with the wind coming in from the windows, and the fan recirculating the air, creating a cross breeze. Want more airflow? Set up multiple fans around the room.
Stay away from the stove.
Cooking generates heat, obviously. In the summer months, try to minimize your cooking time to a few minutes at a time to keep the heat from building up inside the kitchen, and save your baking and roasts for cooler months, as the oven generates a huge amount of heat, too, even with the doors closed.
Additionally, unplug your rice cooker the minute it’s done cooking. Learn how to prepare recipes that are quick and easy, such as stir-fries, or forego the stove entirely and subsist on salads and other dishes that don’t need cooking.
How do you keep your home from heating up during these long summer months? Let me know! 🙂