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This post is about three proven ways to reduce electricity costs and learnt to keep the home cool during summer. It works, and you should try!
The weather is changing all over the world; there is no doubt about it. But, it was a rude shock when we moved to this home three years ago. It was unbearably hot to stay inside in mid-February. We had lived in the city for over a decade and half and had never felt the need to have an a/c; this was one of the reasons why we didn’t plan for one during the interiors.
As weeks passed, a good night’s sleep seemed like a distant dream. With pillows in hand, the husband and I would go from floor to floor finding one nook to sleep for a few hours every night. The guest room, cocooned in the east corner with no terrace exposure, provided some solace. But, when we had guests over,
The summer of 2016 was the harshest. There are several ceiling to floor windows in the west side of the house which means the house cooks up like a furnace in the afternoon from the direct sunlight. The heat reflection from the concrete blocks on the internal roads further accentuates it.
To mitigate the heat, I wanted a tree to be planted in front of the house which was met with stiff resistance from the builder initially. Eventually, I cared less and planted a frangipani. We are reaping the benefits now as the tree provides enough shade for us and the neighbor. Summer evenings are pleasant in the living with cool breeze flowing from both the directions. There is a line of palm trees in the east and a Frangipani in the west.
Even if you are short of space, this is such a hardy and less maintenance tree that you can grow in large pots too. And, all you need is a cutting from an existing one.
Some of your options include:
- Areca palm
- Frangipani or plumeria
- Ficus Elastic or rubber plant
- Fiddle leaf fig
In short, this was the first summer when we didn’t feel the need to get the table fan out in the living room.
Install Sun Protective Film on the Windows
See how those tinted windows in cars protect us from the heat? It’s a similar principle to reduce the heat inside the house by installing UV blocking films on windows. There are several providers with varying qualities. Here is what is recommended:
Garware R Silver 50 – heat reduction is around 50%
IR – heat reduction is 85%
The options from 3M include prestige series and night vision series.
Paint the Terrace Floor with Reflective Paint
If you have rooms in your home with no floor above them i.e. open to the terrace, they they are bound to be the hottest during summer. It is seldom possible to sleep in these rooms without an a/c especially if they are west facing. This is applicable for the top floors in any apartment or an individual house.
You can get the temperature a few notches down by painting the floor white with slaked lime. This is the cheapest option. To make it attractive, you can stencil the floor in some designs in white.
There are quite a few reflective roof paint products available in the market such as:
- Magic Coat Heat Reflective Cool Paint for Roof
- NewCoat Cool from Pidilite
We have continued to use a/c this summer, but the bills have come down drastically as it doesn’t take long for the room to cool.