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No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

May 5, 2017
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Feeling all hot and bothered? Blame it on Malaysia's tropical weather. Expectedly, our air-conditioners are always on standby when the heat gets too much to handle, but do this too often and you’ll be dealing with whopping energy bills!

What’s more, overusing your air conditioner can do serious harm to the environment (think ozone-harming CFCs!). So for the budget and eco-conscious, try these cool (and sometimes cost-free!) hacks to bring down the heat at home, naturally:

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: SQFT Space Design Management

1. Close Your Windows

Don’t allow warm air to enter your home during the hottest hours of the day, typically from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by keeping your windows closed. Do also apply heat-reflective film to deflect daytime warmth and keep the inside of your home cool.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Id Industries

Frosting your windows is also a smart way to deflect rays and heat, while still allowing natural light to enter.

2. Choose the Right Shades and Drapes

Add another layer of cooling to your home by shading your window or balcony with heat-reflective curtains and shades. Bamboo blinds are stylish, eco-friendly and blocks heat from entering.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Hoe & Yin Design Studio

With curtains, choose heavy materials like cotton or velvet that can block sunrays, in light colours (e.g. white, cream and light grey) for further deflection. You may also want to look for curtains with white plastic backings for even more heat-deflective power.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Mode Interior Style

3. Paint With 'Colder' Colours

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Anwill Design Sdn Bhd

It's science 101; Darker colours absorb heat while lighter ones like white deflect. Paint your exterior walls with reflective colours such as white, cream or beige. Go for cooling hues indoors, such as light blue, soft grey, mauve, light green and lilac.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Hatch Interior Studio

While you’re at it, consider painting your roof too with thermal-reflective coating, for an overall cooling effect.

4. Choose 'Cooler' Floor Materials

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Hatch Interior Studio

While wooden flooring is always stylish and homely, it is unfortunately a good insulator of heat. Where possible, do consider installing cooler floor materials like stone, cement or tile instead.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Urban Home

If you are already working with wood floors, painting them white can offset heat levels and refresh the interior in Scandinavian fashion. Another low-cost option would be to install vinyl or linoleum flooring. Note that linoleum is slightly more expensive than vinyl, but also more durable.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: JCS Design Project

5. Indoor & Outdoor Greenery

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Alpex Design

As plants transpire indoors, they help provide oxygen, cooling the air inside the home and keeping it purified from toxins too. Ferns, Aloe Vera plants, Areca Palm and Ficus Trees are effective for cooling indoors.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: EDI: Essential Design Integrated

Planting greenery outside the home as well can prove to be the perfect buffer between a hot sun and the inside of your home. If you don’t mind the ‘overgrown’ look, creeping ivy plants will help keep the walls cool from the outside. Large, shady trees, strategically planted to allow wind and shield from sunrays also offer powerful, natural cooling.

6. Add Some Water Features

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Code Red Studio

The gentle sound of lapping waters can provide ‘auditory’ cooling inside and outside the home in addition to actually absorbing heat. Pools, rooftop fountains, ponds and cascades can help eliminate heat through evaporative cooling.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Hoe & Yin Design Studio

Install small water features inside the home (but not in the bedroom area) as well as larger bodies of water in garden areas for an aesthetically Zen look that is also practical for cooling!

7. Clear Clutter

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Pocket Square

Believe it or not, little knick-knacks and overly crowded interiors can make spaces seem more heated than if it were clean and clear.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Hatch Interior Studio

Open spaces, though sometimes less cosy are better for cooling as there is more room for cold air or wind to linger and pass through. Thus, as you rid your home of clutter; do try to open up the space as well to give it a slightly bare, chill look.

8. Ventilate Well

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Yong Studio

Let air circulate in your home by allowing breeze to enter when the weather is cooler. This natural cooling method works well when there are multiple entry points in the front and back of your home. Do leave the front and back windows (or doors) slightly ajar when it is breezy, so the flow of air can smoothly pass through and cool your home.

9. Add ‘Cool’ Accents And Art

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Urban Home

Sometimes, the heat is all in your mind. Trick your body into thinking it's colder with cool, chilly-looking accents - think water images, icy, lucite furniture or a cold colour scheme. This will help create an aura of calming coolness around the home. Artworks featuring deep blues, a wintry seaside or frozen lakes might psychologically make you feel colder as well.

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Nevermore Design

You could also choose accent pieces with cooler materials such as steel or silver sculptures and natural bamboo to further enhance the effect of cool all around.

10. Go Fluorescent, Not Incandescent

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: M3 Concepts

The 'warm' lighting of an incandescent bulb keeps us fuzzy in more ways than one. Tungsten wires within a traditional incandescent bulb heat up very easily in the process of radiating light, and this warmth can transmit to the rest of your room!

No Air-Cons: 10 Genius Hacks For Cooling Your Home

Interior Designer: Sachi Interiors

Instead, choose fluorescent lamps, which use 4 times less energy and produces less heat when lighting up a space. Don't worry about achieving that golden glow; fluorescents come in all sorts of shades apart from the usual stark whites.


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