Keep Your Home Cool This Summer
With the mercury often settling above 42 degrees in many parts of the country this year, one has to run the air-conditioner all day long to keep the home cool in this scorching summer. Unfortunately, this leads to an increase in the house’s overall temperature. What could an owner do to help his house maintain its cool?
Scientists are acutely aware of the harm air conditioning could have on homes. Keeping that in mind, several technologies have been developed to keep the home cool during the summers. Let us see how to incorporate them in your home to maintain its cool.
As you build
There are a lot many possibilities at this stage. For starters, install insulation sheets in the walls of the house. These help keep the house cool, ensuring you use less of air-conditioners or coolers.
For flooring as well as walls, one could also opt for the rammed earth technique. In this technique, sedimentary rock is used to create walls or flooring that stores thermal energy keeping the evenings cooler.
“This is a low-carbon technique in which soil and binder are placed in layers and then pressure is applied to create a durable and hard surface”, says Elysium Abodes founder Hemil Parikh.
Fly ash is another trending construction material. It is used in concrete mixes to strengthen it. It is cost-effective and environment-friendly and reduces the heat of hydration (heat generated when water and cement react) and also, carbon dioxide emissions.
As you upgrade
In case it is an already-made house, you may replace your old windows with energy-efficient options, says Parikh. The traditional wooden windows are known to contribute 25-30 per cent of the heat gain in a home. However, the energy-efficient options are designed in such a way that outside heat cannot enter while the cool cannot escape the home.
These are made of metallic frame with two or three panes of glasses fitted within the frame that prohibit any kind of air leak into or from the home. Look for low solar heat gain coefficient windows that minimise heat gain during summers.
Using sensor-based temperature control devices is another wise idea, says C Alankrutha, architect at Navin's and N-Hance. These devices track weather conditions outdoors, and set the indoor temperature accordingly. These devices use wireless or bluetooth facilities to determine the outside temperature.
As you store
Another thing that would help you maintain your home’s cool is using energy-saving appliances. Apart from keeping your home cool, such appliances would also help you lower your electricity bills. Don’t let the comparatively high prices that you have to pay upfront bother you, keeping the long term saving in mind. These energy saving appliances in India are given star ratings ranging between one and five – the higher the rating better the efficiency.
While you are switching to new appliances, change the traditional lighting fixtures, for instance, with LED bulbs. While LEDs save on the energy consumed, their long-life also helps you save from changing the fixtures for at least five years.
Tips to keep your home cool
Ice cool: Keep a bowl filled ice and place it in front of the table fan. This helps to keep the temperature in check but also increases the moisture in dry summers.
Clear filters: If you have air-conditioners in your home, clean its filters regularly (once in a month) for it to work efficiently. You could also shade the outdoor unit of the AC to avoid heat penetration.
Green screen: Plant more trees and have green screens on the side prone to heat penetration inside your home.
Tile style: Have green tiles on the roof which will hold on to the heat waves giving the cooling effect inside your home.
Apply white chine clay tiling at roof level to reflect heat.
Colour code: Use heat-reflective colours such as white or cream across the home. These colours reflect heat and keep the home cool.
Aqua touch: Diffuse cold water. Use cold water and a few drops of soothing essential oil in a diffuser which will cool and purify the air as well.