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Beat the Heat: 8 Ways to Cool Your Home Without A/C

May 3, 2023

While living in a hot and humid climate such as Malaysia comes with its own perks (hello 365 days of sunshine!) too much sunlight + humidity can turn your home into a sauna, especially during the day when the heat is at its peak.

While it’s very tempting to leave the A/C turned on all the time to lower the temperature, however, running it too much can raise your electricity bill significantly and drives up pollution by forcing power plants to burn more fossil fuels, which makes hot nights even hotter.

Just White, TTDI by Framework Studio (M) Sdn Bhd
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Whether you care about the environment or just hate receiving a hefty bill at the end of the month, there are several ways to keep your home comfortable from the heat while reducing A/C consumption. Give these easy-to-implement tips a try, you'll be wishing you'd known about them sooner!

1. Install light-coloured curtains

A lot of warmth comes into your home via sunlight. To prevent the sun's heat from entering your home, consider installing light-coloured curtains. Many people believe that darker coloured curtains do their job of blocking sunlight from entering a room, however, they will absorb more heat compared to light curtains and this will make your home even warmer. Hence consider installing drapes and curtains made of light-colored fabrics reflect the sun’s rays and help to reduce heat gain.

Austin Duta, Johor Bahru by Dewani Design
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2. Swap your sheets

Every night your body temperature changes as you fall asleep. This often results in waking up hot, sticky, and desperate for some cool air. If you encounter this problem every night, consider replacing your bed linen with breathable materials such as silk, Tencel and bamboo sheets. These types of materials absorb sweat well and it helps to cool down the skin. If you’re sleeping in man-made materials, like polyester or synthetic, they’ll absorb your body heat, rather than naturally ventilating, so the fabric will retain your heat, and you’ll struggle to cool down.

Summerskye Residence, Bayan Lepas by EMPT Studio
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3. Grow indoor plants

A useful technique to reduce room temperature and humidity are by decorating your home with houseplants. Certain types of houseplants, such as aloe vera, fern, ficus trees and any greenery that doesn’t require frequent watering, get their water from the air around them. If you grow them in windows or window boxes, they’ll absorb a bit of humidity while blocking some of the sunlight.

Petaling Jaya, Selangor by Wo Design Studio
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4. Use ceiling fans

One of the best ways to keep your home cool without overusing your A/C is by installing ceiling fans. Ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature, but they can provide a cooling breeze plus they require a lot less energy to operate.

Dalia Residence, Selangor by Interior+ Design Sdn. Bhd.
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5. Shut your windows and blinds during the day

During the day, it’s important to shut your windows and blinds as soon as the outside temperature climbs above the indoor temperature. The sun's rays will not only heat the air in your house but will also warm up your counters and floors. Those tend to have a high heat capacity so they will store that heat and continue to radiate throughout the night. Once the sun goes down and the air cools off, though, you can open them up and let some fresh air in.

The Park, Bukit Jalil by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation
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6. Choose cooling floor materials

Another way to achieve a much cooler home without costing you or the planet a fortune is by opting for cooler flooring materials such as marble, bamboo, hardwood or tiles instead of installing wall-to-wall carpet in your house. Carpet is a poor conductor of heat. Hence, when you walk over the carpet, it can’t remove the heat from your feet as easily as tile, and as a result, it feels warmer. Conversely, wood, tile or natural stone can remove heat from your foot very easily, and so it feels colder.

Melawati, Kuala Lumpur by Nusa Indah Bina
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7. Shut off the lights when not in use

If you're still using incandescent light bulbs, it’s time to replace them with energy-efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescent and LED as they can reduce the overall temperature around your home and your electricity bill. Plus, compact fluorescent and LED have a longer lifespan and it is cost-effective too.

Tropicana Garden Dianthus, Selangor by Young Concept Design
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However, even energy-efficient light bulbs should be turned off when you're trying to keep things cool as any electronics in use can heat your home a little bit. Make a habit of checking that all the lights are off when you leave a room and use them as little as possible during the day.

8. Reduce humidity with a dehumidifier

Air conditioners - in addition to delivering chilled air - can remove moisture-laden air from the room. However, you can duplicate the latter with a dehumidifier. Using a dehumidifier at home can prove to be quite effective in cooling down your room temperature during the hottest days by removing excess moisture in the air instead of overusing your A/C.

Dumalis, Sierra 16 by Klaasmen Sdn. Bhd.
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Looking for professional help?

If you’re staying in a home where overexposure to direct sunlight is becoming a huge problem in keeping your home cool, let our interior designer help transform your home into a temperate paradise. Request a free quotation here and we will help to connect you with up to four interior designers close to your area, tailored to your budget and needs.

When you engage an interior firm through our service, you’ll enjoy attractive perks, such as the Qanvast Guarantee, a free initiative that safeguards up to RM50,000 of your renovation deposits.

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