Homes are naturally places of rest and relaxation away from the hectic business and social lives which human beings can’t escape. Creating the right environment for this purpose is therefore cardinal. While many individuals may not often have a say on how their place of residence is constructed, occupying it places the responsibility on the occupant to make it comfy and ideal. South Africa’s weather patterns are not the harshest in the world but you are surely bound to experience sweltering heat every now and then especially during the summer season. Quick fix solutions in these instances include jumping into a swimming pool and switching on the aircon, but the truth of the matter is, not everyone is privileged to access such facilities.
How can you cool your house this summer in an environmentally friendly way?
Every home needs lighting. However, it’s important to recognise the fact that the same lighting contributes a significant amount of warmth that your home returns. When considering the type of lighting, you are better off with LED light bulbs because they release only about 5% as heat.
Trees or green plants planted in neighbourhoods are often treasured for the scientific purpose of improving the quality of air human beings’ breath. But trees perform another imperative purpose of cooling the environment. Trees absorb great amounts of moisture from the air and possible breeze which passes through them and hence cools the surrounding environment. A good green garden with well-maintained lawns will therefore help your home environment feel cooler. The shade will also come in hand for outdoor relaxation on hot days.
Windows are a big deal and contribute to the amount of heat your home generates. Wide windows are not good enough. You can supplement this with some affordable blinds, shades and curtains. For a more efficient cooling effect, you are better off with neutral-coloured wide slat wood blinds than mini blinds. The choice of colours you choose for your curtains must not be overlooked. It’s a no brainer that thick black fabrics are a bad attempt for cooling off, so you should opt for light, breezy and airy curtains. If possible and where necessary, improvise with some reflective film.
Ceiling fans may be the old school way of cooling off with so much modern home tech developed to deal with temperature matters. But you can be guaranteed that a ceiling fan will do perfectly well in cooling your home. The advantage also is that they use less energy and will therefore cost you less on energy bills than many other options.
Home appliances are huge heat emitters. While it’s hard to do away with most of them, reducing their usage especially on hot days will help reduce the home temperature. To reduce the home temperature, use less of the stove, television sets, heavy music machines, washing machines, dryers and any other appliance which uses great amounts of energy to be powered. You can braai, hand wash clothes and hang them to dry on the line outside, wash dishes with your hands and leave them to dry naturally. For entertainment, you can use your phone or laptop or go out to socialise. All these seemingly little measures will assist in cooling your home.
Dehumidifiers are not a constant feature in many homes but they are essential for cooling purposes. Dehumidifiers are designed to suck excess water out of the air which helps in cooling the environment. They are reasonably cheap and eco-friendly.
The above eco-friendly methods will help keep you cool this summer season without straining your finances and destroying the environment.