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With the constant rise of global temperature, it can’t be helped that we’ll eventually invest in cooling appliances. Having an air conditioner in the house can bring a different lifestyle in comparison to not having one.
However, an air conditioner can be very pricey. The market price alone can consume all our budget at once, excluding the added fees for delivery and installation. As such, we tend to compromise by buying an electric fan or mini air coolers. Still, these alternatives can’t suffice the intense heat every day.
But is there a way to make a room cooler despite not using an air conditioner?
It depends on what household cooling technique you want to do. While it may seem a bit idealistic, there are multiple ways to experience natural cooling inside your house. You don’t necessarily have to buy other cooling appliances such as an electric fan, a mini air cooler, or an air conditioner.
Sometimes, you just need to adjust or replace a bit of your household stuff, like window blinds, bed sheets, light source, etc., to experience a good breeze. And if done right, you might not need to buy any of the coolers anymore. This can also help you prepare by saving enough money if you want to buy an air conditioner one day.
One of the many advantages of natural cooling, aside from saving you more money, is it’s also eco-friendly. An air conditioner uses refrigerants, a cooling agent, to facilitate the cooling of warm air inside the house. These cooling agents can be very harmful to the environment, especially to the atmosphere.
Here are some useful tips that can help you stay cool and comfortable even without an air conditioner.
Covering your windows with curtains isn’t enough to block the heat from the sunlight. Sometimes, the curtains themselves can increase the moisture inside the house if you use thick ones. In this case, breathable curtains are a solution. It’s the total opposite if you own an air conditioner because having one means you have to always cover your windows with thick curtains.
When we say breathable curtains, these are the type that uses a see-through fabric. It blocks a decent amount of sunlight, but it allows more air to get in and out of the house. These are perfect for places that experience a lot of windy days.
If you have an extra budget, you can opt to buy blinders for your window. These are typically made of fabric, but most commonly, they’re made of wood or hard plastic. Window blinds block the heat from going into the house. These are also used if you own an air conditioner because it’s an added form of louver that helps you control the airflow inside the house.
Unlike a normal window screen, you can adjust how much heat or air you can let inside the house. Blinders come with a leash that you can manually pull to adjust its position at the window or the angle at which the louvers are remained open. It also determines the airflow that goes in and out of your house.
One of the major sources of indoor heat is your appliances. Heat is a by-product of anything that uses energy. You also release heat every time you do some work, or if you stay in a room without proper ventilation. An air conditioner releases heat because it uses electricity to run. This heat is normally excreted outside of the house, but if the system is damaged, it can be felt indoors.
To lessen the heat in your home, it’s best to turn off the appliances you’re not using. For instance, turning off your gas range, stove, or oven will keep your house fresh and cool. Personal computers also exert a decent amount of heat, so it’s best to turn them off if you’re not using your PC.
Another contributing factor to indoor heat is the accumulated dust, dirt, or trash. Make sure to clean the rooms and extra spaces of your house properly to prevent the build-up of unwanted moisture in your home. Dust can contribute to high heat problems and act as a conductor for moisture in humid environments, particularly in uncontrolled environments.
In addition, untidy things can also make you feel irritable. This is not good for your mental state, as it can induce stress, which can amplify the agitation you feel due to the hot weather. Cleaned clothes, kitchen counter, organized cabinet, and a dust-free room can feel very refreshing.
An important note to remember is to make your house properly ventilated. Check if there are enough windows for the air to go in and out of your home. Ensure that your kitchen has a ventilation system so that the warm air and other odor that comes from cooking will be exhausted outside.
Without adequate ventilation, a house that is otherwise well-insulated and airtight will keep out damaging pollutants like carbon monoxide and moisture. Moreover, ventilating a house combines the physical features of the building with tasks that can be finished after construction. Additionally, it’s also advisable to open the windows during the day to provide airflow inside your house.
If you’re living in a humid country, such as the Philippines, it’s always advisable to use light colors as the main theme for your house. Light-colored materials deflect light, thus they keep the heat from accumulating in your home.
This is the reason why a house with light-colored painted walls feels more refreshing than a house that’s painted brown or green. Light-colored mattresses, bed sheets, or kitchen tools can also make you feel fresh and cool because these won’t absorb too much heat.
One of the most natural cooling techniques you can do for your house is adding plants that can be planted in pots. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as a by-product. These decrease the heat inside your home without the need to buy mechanical cooling systems.
Plants can also make your house more presentable, and thus helps lower your daily stress. They’re also low maintenance, especially for species such as ferns and cacti. Moreover, plants lose water during transpiration, which cools the air around them and leaves it fresh and clean.
Ensure that your roof is adequately insulated. Additionally, paint it with light-colored paint. By insulating your roof, you can keep your home safe from the heat that accumulates when sunlight strikes it. It also provides an additional layer of sun protection.
Another way to guarantee that less heat is absorbed through the roof is to construct it out of reflective materials. This has traditionally meant using lighter-colored materials, like white linen on the beach.
Another common routine most people do is to do household chores or work in the nighttime. The temperature is much cooler at this time of the day, and it makes it easier for the chores to be done immediately.
While natural cooling is efficient, sometimes the heat can become unbearable and there are days when the wind can’t keep up with the hot weather. In this case, investing in an electric fan, whether it’s a ceiling fan, a stand fan, or a mini fan, is a good choice to feel fresh and cool.
Much like the tips when buying an air conditioner, check for the quality of the electric fan and look for the Energy Star label to see how much watts it can consume. This will also give you an estimate of how much budget you should prepare for the electricity bill. These alternatives are much cheaper than buying an air conditioner.
Also, ask the salesperson for tips and read more information about the electric fan you want to buy to make sure that it can accommodate the entire area of your house. Big houses can invest in ceiling fans, as they can cover a large area. They also improve the airflow inside the house, unlike a stand fan or a mini fan that only has a dedicated direction for the flow of air.
Most of the household cooling tips discussed in this article apply to all types of houses. However, people who live in provincial areas or DIY houses can insulate their roofs and ceilings using used-up egg trays or using aluminum foil. These are alternative methods to keep a house cool without the need to buy an air conditioner.
It’s a common practice in tropical countries, especially in the Philippines, because not everyone can afford to paint their roof white or hire an expert to make sure the airflow is good inside the house. In this case, DIYs are common because it’s cheaper. An air conditioner is also an optional investment if you have an extra budget for it.
Additionally, traditional houses, like a Bahay Kubo, use bamboo and timber roofed with palm leaves to ensure that warm air will rise, and cold air will circulate inside the house. This housing technique is very effective, and it’s also commonly used to build beach huts in resorts. Moreover, some modern houses use the same method but are reinforced with reflective films and paint.
Staying cool during hot weather, amidst the lack of a cooling device such as an air conditioner, can be quite tricky. It all boils down to our creativity and resourcefulness to find cheaper yet efficient ways to keep our house cool.
Moreover, the tips discussed don’t necessarily offer a permanent solution to keep ourselves from feeling steamy, but they’re enough to keep us cool for a day. Then the decision is up to us whether to invest in an air conditioner or not.