India’s long, hot summers can be quite unforgiving.
As temperatures rise, most of us resort to keeping our homes cool by using air conditioners.
The irony is that while draining our pockets to keep our houses cool, we’re also burning enough fossil fuels to make the world hotter.
Fortunately, a few smart yet simple hacks can help you keep your house cool without racking up huge carbon footprints.
10 easy ways to keep your home cool in the summer!
Position a large bowl of ice in front of a table fan — it functions as a crude heat sink and creates a cooling mist.
1. Break the ice
Throw some uncooked rice inside a pillow cover, refrigerate it, and you've found a way to cool your bed. You can also try a rice husk pillow - it allows natural airflow, keeping it cool through the night.
2. Get creative with rice
Layer your windows with jute screens and bamboo shades to block out the sunlight while still ensuring ventilation.
3. Curtains that breathe
Use only cotton bedding in summer. If it's too hot, borrow an idea from the Egyptians and use a slightly damp sheet at bedtime for added cooling.
4. Swap your sheets
Does your roof heat the house? A coat of white lime wash or reflective paint can do the trick. Even better, grow a terrace garden – the mud acts as an insulator.
5. Paint it white
Open the windows at night and circulate the fresh, cool night air. In the morning, shut your windows and blinds to trap that cool air in, and start the day off at a much lower temperature.
6. Try a night 'flush'
Xerophytes (cacti, aloe, succulents) and 'air plants' like bromeliads get their water from the air around them. If you grow them in window boxes, they’ll soak up the humidity while blocking out sunlight.
7. Houseplants to the rescue
Ensure your ceiling fans are turning counterclockwise. That way, they’ll pull hot air toward the ceiling. And strategically place window fans to build a flow of cross breezes.
8. Build a fan network
Cool a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.
9. Just hang out
Hot air rises. So set up your bed as close to the ground as possible to beat the heat. You could also cool it with a cold water bottle before getting in.