Have you ever struggled to decide whether to switch on the air-conditioner in your room, especially after realising that you have been running it continuously over the past few days?
While having the air-conditioning switched on constantly will mean high electricity bills, not to mention the impact it has on the environment, staying in an air-conditioned room for long hours can also affect your health due to poor natural air-ventilation.
So how do you keep your home cool without relying on the air-con? Here are seven simple ways to reduce indoor temperatures without spending a fortune!
1 Let plants do their magic
One obvious solution is to surround yourself with plants, especially leafy plants. Plants act as the lungs of the environment as they purify the air, says Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (ILAM) president Assoc Prof Dr Osman Mohd Tahir.
“Plants can purify air and water, filter the wind and noise, provide humans with beneficial contact with nature and most importantly, stabilise the microclimate,” he says, adding that this includes helping to lower indoor temperature.
“Pollutants from the air can be significantly reduced through the protection and provision of natural features, particularly trees and shrubs, which absorb pollutants, moderate the local climate and encourage airflow,” Osman offers.
A garden is not solely to be admired, it also helps to reduce heat transfer from the sun into your home. According to Osman, a green wall or vertical garden for instance, can also lower the air temperature within a room.
2 Use black-out curtain or blinds
Besides plants, you can consider investing in black-out curtains. Thick but light-coloured curtains or blinds can help block out light and reflect the heat of the sun.
All you need to do is keep them drawn over windows or glass sliding doors that receive direct sunlight during the day.
3 Keep electrical appliances switched off
Have you ever stood close to the clothes dryer or oven and feel the heat released from the appliances?
Best to keep electrical appliances off at home when you’re not using them, to reduce heat indoors. Besides keeping the big appliance shut during day time, one can consider replacing the traditional light bulbs at home, which usually generate more heat than newer LED light bulbs to save energy at the same time.
4 Let the air flow
When the sun goes down, so does the temperature. So make the most of those refreshing few hours after sunset by opening up the windows and doors to allow the air to flow in and circulate through the rooms in the house before you settle down for the night. But be sure to keep the curtains down before the morning sun hits to keep the air inside cooler longer.
5 Paint your walls white
It is proven that black objects absorb all the colours of the spectrum and heat while white and pale objects reflect almost all light, so the light is not converted into heat and the temperature does not increase noticeably.
One can consider painting the walls that receive direct sunlight such as those facing east or west with white paint to reduce the accumulation of heat from the sun.
6 Use an exhaust fan
Exhaust fans are useful in small and humid indoor spaces such as bathrooms and kitchenettes as they pull out warm air from within a room. They also circulate the air in the room for better ventilation. Some fans are digitally programmed to automatically start once a room reaches a certain temperature and will shut down when it becomes cooler.
As hot air rises, it is best to place the fan as high up as possible. If you want to pull fresh air into the room, you may use the reversible-type exhaust fans.
7 Use water
Having cold water features indoors can help reduce the temperature in a room. Consider having some indoor aquatic plants with the water features as well or certain plants that lose water during the transpiration process as the moisture can cool down the air. Such plants include aloe vera and the areca palm tree. Another quick way to cool down is to simply mop down the floor with cold water during mid-day.
This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my pullout on July 27, 2018. Download EdgeProp.my pullout here for free.