“Summertime and the livin’ is easy” Remember the popular number by Ella Fitzgerald. Well, as hard as it seems with our sweltering summer that is already overhead, some simple solutions and practical steps can help us still stay comfortable and enjoy the season. So junk the exhaustion and fatigue that accompanies the season and stay productive by heat-proofing your house.
You don’t have to think of drastic measures with help at hand and can effectively beat the sun in various innovative ways. As this summer is supposed to be the worst in many years, let’s look at how we can combat its fury.
This post is based on actual changes that we implemented in our Bangalore office and found to be effective. Our office is at least 5 degrees cooler than before – everything else remaining the same. Of course, we are also using the air conditioning in the afternoons to further lower the temperature.
Roof is the most susceptible part to receiving direct heat especially if you’re in a building and live atop. Also, the heat from top can radiate to the houses below, so it is important for the whole building to ensure the roof stays cool.
What you can do: You can coat the roof with sun reflective paint. You could also use fine lime powder which will colour your roof white and unlike some of the enamel paints that will come off like flakes, lime coating does not peel off. Also, consider keeping plants on your roof, as the mud will absorb the heat. (For more information on sun reflective paint: Excel Coatings). We used Excels Coatings and they charged 23 Rs. Per sft including paint, application for 2 coats in Bangalore.
Firstly, it is important that you keep the windows open to ensure cross ventilation but given increasing pollution levels, the best time to keep them open is early mornings and night time, when air is the coolest. Windows can heat the room if facing the harsh sun and make the room unbearably hot. This is especially true, if the window faces the West or the South.
What you can do:
A natural way to keep your home cooler in summers is to go for indoor plants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. A lot of potted plants are known to remove harmful toxins from air and bring down ambient temperatures, while also adding to the decor of the house. Plants tend to control humidity to within the optimum range for human health as well.
What you can do: Bring home/office plants that don’t need as much care but help you stay cool. Some such plants are-aloe vera, baby rubber plant, snake plant, money tree and spider plant. You can also read our earlier blog on this.
Use cool white linen to cover your beds and upholstery. Use light-colored pure cotton bed linen during the day since the upholstery fabrics are thick and make you sweaty. Light-colored fabric will reflect the heat instead of absorbing it, and the smooth texture will give you an impression of coolness. It is important that you use 100% cotton or cotton blended with Bamboo or Tencel. Avoid synthetic fibers.
It is important that if you are using breathable & waterproof bed mattress protectors. Use those that are breathable. However, they are not the perfect for summer. If the heat is too much, then we would suggest that you remove the protector cover from the mattress. Of course, you need to weigh the risks of any accidental stains to the mattress.
At the risk self promotion, we think that Latex is the best material for mattresses, especially so during summer. Old style, cotton mattresses are great too. Avoid memory foam & PU foam at any cost. If you are not able to afford a full latex mattress with best support pillows, then you can consider a mattress that at least has a top layer of latex.
Please share your thoughts and any tips in the comments below. Also, please share these cool tips with your friends and family on your social networks.
The contractors that we mentioned here are those that we used and happy with. At the same time, we assume no liability if you use them and have any kind of unwanted consequences.
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