Smart, natural ways to make your home a cosy place
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.