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For those of you who live in warmer climates, you’ve probably faced with this classic dilemma at one point: do you suffer through the heat and save money, or do you turn on the AC and worry about the expense later? With climate change becoming more drastic each day, it’s more than likely that the scorching weather isn’t going anywhere soon.
Luckily, there are a lot of savvy ways to make your home cooler. Below, we’ve put together some tips from around the globe — because rising temperatures are a concern wherever you are in the world.
Keep the shutters closed when you’re not home: France
French shutters are very stylish, with few things more romantic than colorful shutters against wide windows. However, having open curtains and shutters lets the sunlight in, which can heat up your home quite quickly. Try to veer away from translucent curtains, as they allow light to filter in even when they’re shut. If you want to leave your curtains open, do so when the sun isn’t as hot.
Invest in plants: South Africa
The use of plants in interior design has been well documented throughout history, that Earthbound report traditional African houses rely on grass roofs to keep air circulating. South Africa is now calling on this tradition by developing new green rooftop systems. You, too, can lean on this trick by setting up some indoor plants or placing climbing plants such as ivy up your outside walls.
Have your boiler checked: United Kingdom
You’ve probably heard of the stereotypical cold English weather, so it’s no wonder that the English have their heating systems down pat. HomeServe note that heating equipment should be consistently checked to make sure it is working efficiently, because even something as simple as a noisy boiler or an annoying leak could mean that there is a larger issue at hand. So while it may cost you to have it checked, costly repairs can rack up even more expenses in the long run.
Freeze your linens and bed sheets: Egypt
There’s nothing more comforting than a good night’s sleep after a hot day, and it’s even better when you’re sleeping in a cold room. The Greatist claims an ancient Egyptian hack involves cooling your linen and/or bedcovers, or even using a damp blanket over a dry sheet. So freeze your linen while you’re out and fit them over your bed before you go to sleep. But if you want a more modern approach, you can always just use a mattress equipped with cooling technology.
Open your windows at night: Philippines
If it’s safe to do so, keep your windows open at night — even just a little bit. This allows some cool night air to circulate through your room while you sleep. Houses along the Philippine coastline rely on large windows rather than air-conditioning units (equipped with mosquito nets to keep bugs out). That way, you also get to appreciate the natural breeze, which is undoubtedly more refreshing than the air that comes from your fan.
Create a cooler fan: Hong Kong
Hong Kong residents are known for utilizing lots of creative fan hacks, mainly because their apartments are usually quite small. For a simple trick that can be done in less than five minutes, place a bowl of ice in front of a fan. Not only is this trick super cheap, it’s also extremely effective and perfect for those times when you need to cool down ASAP.
Switch out your lightbulbs: the EU
Using energy efficient lights like LEDs and compact fluorescent lamps can help you save on your energy bills as they emit less energy. The Independent states that new EU regulations are looking to ban halogen bulbs because these lead to excessive energy waste. This means there’s also the added benefit of these light bulbs emitting less heat.
Unplug electronics that aren’t in use: Singapore
In a similar vein, electronics that are plugged in end up emitting heat even if they might not be in use. Singapore’s technologically advanced society has led to rising electric bills, which is why providers recommend that their clients unplug any electronics that are not in use. This also avoids any sudden build-up of heat around your home, especially if you live in a hot climate.
Think about replacing your windows: USA
Replacing your windows is a design hack that can instantly lead to a cooler home. In our post on ‘Is it Time to Replace Your Windows?’ we listed sweltering temperatures as a possible sign that your windows need to be replaced. Low-emissivity windows have a reflective coating that blocks the sun’s heat, and these effects are doubled when you use double-paned windows.
Remember to stay hydrated: United Arab Emirates
If all else fails, just remember to keep hydrated. People who live in the Middle East are no strangers to hot temperatures, and an article on Gulf News notes that hydration keeps your body temperature down. A good rule of thumb is to drink a sip of water every 15 minutes to ensure that you’re getting enough hydration. For accessibility, you can even set up a water dispenser in the rooms you frequent most.
Applying these home hacks above can help you build a cooler, more liveable space. These tips are especially great for anyone that wants to cool down instantly or ensure that their room doesn’t feel like a sauna after coming home from work.