Based on the astronomical explanation, winter starts at the winter solstice, i.e. somewhere in mid-December and ends at March equinox. And, based on the meteorological definition, the first day of winter is December 1 and the last day is February 29. Yes, with winters coming to an end soon, the great Indian summer nightmare is all set to begin!
And just like the food and clothing, it becomes essential for us to ensure the shelter that we take to escape all the heat is cool and comforting. But again, that shouldn’t be the matter of cranking up the AC. The rapidly rising temperatures and the radical change in climate are posing a serious threat to our environment. And the so-called ‘modern machines’ which we use to cool our homes have contributed significantly to global warming. Sadly, if drastic measures aren’t taken to curb it – Global warming will continue unabated.
Bringing Down Indoor Temperatures – One Herculean Task
Unquestionably, bringing down indoor temperatures without an air conditioner can be one hard-hitting task. But, think of our older generations; they used simple methods to stay cool during the summers which worked wonders. And yes, we need to acknowledge the fact that most of those methods were non-polluting and cost-effective. Building on this, today we take you through a few of the most common eco-friendly ways of keeping yourself cool during the summers – Note without wasting electricity or harming the environment.
1. Green Shade
A hint of greenery always brightens our living spaces; sadly, most of us are living in concrete jungles where natural shade is totally absent. We have allowed a lot of direct sunlight to beat our windows and roofs during the hottest times of the day – resulting in exceptionally high indoor temperatures.
Trees if planted on the southern and western sides of your house provide a great deal of natural green shade. Also, these are great for the environment as it can offset some of the carbon emissions produced from your AC’s. Irrespective of the fact that most of us cannot afford to have a spacious landscaped garden around our homes; we can still have a few pots in our balconies and kitchen gardens.
2. Use The Window Advantage
Like we say – Let the air in….
We must use our Windows to the fullest as these are key in keeping your homes cool. Open your Windows to create cross ventilation through the house. Try opening your windows more during the morning time as the air is fresher.
Another important thing, add curtains as these play a role in regulating the temperature. Insulating curtains can help your home in both summer and winter; this is because these blocks hot air out in the summer and cool air out in the winters.
3. Whitewash Your Roof
This might sound strange, but whitewashing the roof with some light colors actually works in bringing down the indoor temperature by 5-10 degrees. Also, not just the indoors of the homes, if all the surfaces in a city are painted white, they can considerably bring the temperature down for the entire surrounding. This interesting technique is an ancient one, which is still used in parched regions like Rajasthan.
All you would need to do is apply a single coat of good quality exterior paint which is water-proof on your building roof every two-three years depending upon the amount of rain received in the region you stay.
4. Rooftop Garden
Did you know? Rooftop gardens can be installed on large and small commercial/residential buildings and even on vehicles having a roof. These interesting gardens help in creating a refreshing pollution-free environment and act as a mobile indoor air purifier – especially in congested cities where we stay. The thick layer of soil helps in cooling down the air below the roof automatically.
These interesting garden set-ups can bring back the lost bees, birds, butterflies, etc. which are no longer seen in the polluted cities we live in.
5. Khus Khus Carpet
In small and medium-sized towns, Khus Khus carpets are one ultimate equipment that is used to beat the summer heat. These carpets made of khus khus are soaked in water and hanged from the ceiling, spreading across the terraces. The most interesting thing about them is that they do not allow the heat in the air to pass through, instead, it evaporates providing cool breeze for people living behind the layer.
6. Proper Insulation
This is more relevant for those who live in old buildings/apartments; Proper insulation can do wonders in keeping the cool air inside. And the most important aspect of proper insulation is ensuring your home is airtight i.e. air isn’t managing to escape through the doors or windows.
If you are planning to build a new home, identifying basic insulating materials are important. Here is a list of basic insulating materials; wool insulation materials, slag slabs, natural fibre insulation materials, porotherm bricks, gypsum board, vermiculite and perlite insulation materials, cementitious foam insulation materials, gasket cork sheet, insulation facings etc.
Stay Cool + Environmentally Friendly
With these tips in place, you can stay cool and harm the environment in the least possible way. Once you start implementing these tricks at your home, you will stay cool, save loads on your electricity bill and be gratified on the fact that – You are helping the environment.
Curated by editor at Wienerberger India