Smart, nat­u­ral ways to make your home a cosy place

Down to Earth - - LIFESTYLE -

Use nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tions like win­dows or jaalis to let in the breeze. Use desert cooler dur­ing hot and dry months of the year, and AC only dur­ing the hot and humid months. Avoid us­ing AC dur­ing nat­u­rally cooler parts of the day. Shade your win­dows ir­re­spec­tive of the di­rec­tion it faces. If it faces west, shade a bit ex­tra be­cause the house is al­ready hot by af­ter­noon. Shad­ing should be done us­ing light ma­te­rial, lightly con­nected to the wall around the win­dow.

Shad­ing de­vices work best when put out­side the win­dow. Cur­tains and blinds inside the win­dow will not do the trick. An ad­justable shade is your best bet. You can bring it on when­ever the sun is trou­bling you. Min­imise the use of glass in win­dows. The larger the glass sur­face of win­dow the more ex­posed you are to the blis­ter­ing heat. If you like the glass look, make sure it is in­su­lated or dou­ble glazed, and has sun­shade to pro­tect it from di­rect sun. If you live on the top floor, make sure the roof is well in­su­lated. You can plant a lawn on the roof, or erect a shade struc­ture over the roof, or sim­ply paint it white. If you need to use AC, set the in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture set­ting at 26oC or higher, and switch on the fan to feel cooler at lesser en­ergy cost.

If you have to use an AC be­cause the room is too hot for com­fort, make sure that the win­dows are made with sealed dou­ble glass units and wooden or PVC frames, and are tightly shut. This will stop the heat from flow­ing in, and you will be re­warded with money saved due to re­duced elec­tric­ity bills. Wear clothes ac­cord­ing to cli­mate, as they trap heat and make you feel warmer. Light coloured loose clothes in sum­mers and warm, lay­ered wool­lens only in the win­ter. There are times when the nat­u­ral breeze dies down and the air is still. Even when you open the win­dow the breeze does not flow across the house. In such a sce­nario, switch on the ex­haust fans in the kitchen and toi­lets, and open win­dows at the op­po­site sides of the rooms. This will pull the cool air from the win­dow across the room and grad­u­ally cool your liv­ing space.

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