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Cost-effective ways to summer-proof your home

Want to cut down your electricity bill? Arpita Kala tells you ways to chill without the AC.

lifestyle Updated: May 25, 2013 02:39 IST
Arpita Kala

Want to cut down your electricity bill? Here’s how to chill without the AC.

Keeping cool in summers can be a wallet-draining exercise, especially with the ever-rising cost of electricity. If the scorching heat has left you panting, and you break into a sweat at the thought of turning off the air conditioner, here’s help at hand.

We tell you low-cost, environment-friendly ways to cool your home naturally. Get some pastel furnishings, grow green vines on your windows, use fluorescent bulbs, invest in a hammock, and voila!, you’re all set to beat the heat the natural way.

Clear up Themes
The first step towards cool-ifying your room is to strip it down to the bare essentials. Remove all the clutter, the wintery draperies and unnecessary objects to create more space and avoid stuffiness.

Hanging Cool
Are frequent power cuts robbing you off a good night’s sleep? Quit tossing and turning in your bed, and install a hammock in your room to crash into, on hot, sweaty summer nights. You can swing yourself to sleep and up the cool factor of your home decor too!

The Ice Magic
If you thought ice cubes were only good for the cool drink you keep sipping on, think again. While filling your room cooler with water, empty a few trays of ice cubes in it too. Now, enjoy the considerably cooler air and sip on your icy drink.

Double the Drapes
Intersperse thick cotton curtains in pastel or floral hues with dainty lace or linen ones. The thick drapes will keep out the sun during the day and can be pulled aside for the evening breeze to flow in through the lace ones. If it’s windy outside, you can create a breeze in your home by strategically opening your windows. Opening doors and windows on both sides of your home will allow the air to move through your house, creating a cool breeze.

Water Gardens
Want to avoid the clutter of potted plants in your home? You can still get a bit of cool green, with a water garden. Take a plastic pot, add soil and sow plants such as taro, water hyacinth, and fairy moss in it. Now, take a glass jar, line the base with charcoal to help against odours and fill it with distilled water. Place the plastic pot inside it and decorate it with aquarium pebbles, shells etc.

Shady Cures
You can install white window shades or blinds and keep them closed during the day to keep the heat out. Doing this can reduce the solar heat gain by 40-50%. Or, you can also opt for the old-school and cost-effective method of using khus khus sheets to line your windows and doors. Hose them with water so that the breeze entering your room through the wet khus khus sheets, is cooler.