10 Hot Tips to Cool Your Home Without Air-conditioning

Keeping the sun out, clever placement of fans and plants are some ways to keep things chill without upping your utility bills

Issue: Jun 2015

You can stay cool without increasing your utility bills or adding to global warming if you employ a little ingenuity
You can stay cool without increasing your utility bills or adding to global warming if you employ a little ingenuity and some basic understanding of Science

Did you know that running just one air conditioner a night for a year can set you back over S$1,000? Cost aside, there is also the impact on the environment. Manufacturing air conditioners requires CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) which depletes the Earth’s protective ozone layer. Powering air conditioners requires burning fossil fuel for energy which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that trap heat and increase the Earth’s temperature.

With soaring temperatures, what alternatives do we have? Well, with a little knowledge of Science and some creativity, you can stay cool at home without switching on your air conditioner. Here are 10 ways.

1. Keep the Sun Out

H. M. Curtain's blinds and curtains will help to keep out 30% of the sun's unwanted heat
(Left and centre) H. M. Curtain’s blinds and curtains will help to keep out 30% of the sun’s unwanted heat; (right) and with blackout curtains from HM Deco, you can keep out not just the heat but the noise as well
Photo credit: H. M. Curtain Pte Ltd and HM Deco

Pull down the blinds and draw the curtains. When sunlight streams into your home, you create a mini greenhouse effect inside. In fact, about 30% of unwanted heat in the home comes from the windows.

Where to buy:

H. M. Curtain offers both ready-made and made-to-order curtains and blinds.

HM Deco specialises in curtains and blinds (both bamboo and Venetian)

J&S Design is a premier window furnishings chain where you will be spoilt for choice when selecting fabrics for your curtains

2. Block Out the Rays

You can go a step further and insulate your windows with heat reflecting window films. They come in clear sheets which you can apply to your windows to reduce glare, heat and the amount of ultraviolet rays entering your home.

Where to buy:

DIY shop Home-Fix

3. Get Shady

Plants can not only shield your home from the heat and glare of the sun but can also cool the place when they transpire
Plants can not only shield your home from the heat and glare of the sun but can also cool the place when they transpire

Leafy plants and shrubs, cleverly placed can provide shade to your home. On sun-facing parts of your house, put up trellises covered with greenery. Plants can cut down the amount of heat exposure by as much as 50% and further cool your home through envirotranspiration (moisture evaporating from the leaves, stems and flowers of plants).

4. Don’t Cross Out Cross Ventilation

Maximise cross ventilation by opening windows at night to let in the cool air while keeping them shut in the day to keep out the heat
Maximise cross ventilation by opening windows at night to let in the cool air while keeping them shut in the day to keep out the heat

Shut your windows in the day but open them at night when the air outside is cooler than the air inside. If you live in a double-storey house, open windows on both levels to create a stack effect – cool air gets pulled down while hot air rises up and out. If you live in a single level home, open the windows on both ends of the house to let air move freely through.

5. Replace Incandescent Bulbs

Replace incandescent bulbs with LED ones because the former gives off light by creating heat
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED ones because the former gives off light by creating heat

While they are the cheapest type of bulbs, incandescent bulbs are also the ones that give out the most heat and requires the most electricity. These bulbs generate light by turning the filament within white hot so the heat is part of the package, so to speak. Use LED bulbs instead. They use up less energy, last longer and light up the room without heating it.

Where to buy:

Best Tech Furniture Gallery has LED lights in gorgeous designs.

6. Be a Cool Fan

The type of fan and where you place it can cool a room more effectively. Fans cool people not spaces so make sure your floor or table fan will blow air to where the most people are likely to be. Corners are your best bet. Tilt your floor or table fan upwards to facilitate air movement (so the hot air that rises is cooled) instead of directing it at people.

Where to buy:

Harvey Norman, Courts, Gain City and Best Denki offer a wide selection of floor and table fans.

7. Go Counter

Ceiling fans should rotate anti-clockwise in order to push cool air down
Ceiling fans should rotate anti-clockwise in order to push cool air down

Ceiling fans create a draft throughout the room and are favoured for their optimal coverage. Make sure that yours turns counter clockwise. This will push the cool air down. To tell which direction the blades are set, stand beneath the fan and watch. The blades should move from top left then down to the right and back to the top. You should also feel air movement while you are directly under the fan.

Where to buy:

Have your pick of ceiling fans at Choong Ying and Best Tech Furniture Gallery.

8. Create Your Own Air Conditioner

You can have blasts of ice-cool air blowing at you without an air conditioner. Fill a 1.5 litre PET bottle with 70% water and 10% rock salt, leaving 20% for the water to expand. Freeze the bottle. The salt lowers the temperature at which water freezes to create super cold ice. When you need it, take out the bottle and place it in a bowl to catch any condensation. Aim your fan at the frozen bottles. As the ice melts, the fan will blow the cool air around the bottle at you. The bottles can be frozen and reused.

9. Stay Unplugged

Unspent electricity from electronics that are plugged in but not switched on gets turned into heat
Unspent electricity from electronics that are plugged in but not switched on gets turned into heat, making your home warmer so unplug everything not in use

Unplug any appliance or electronics not in use. Even when they are turned off, some of them still draw electricity and the unspent electricity gets turned into heat, making the surroundings warmer.

10. Get Dry

Moist heat is more unbearable than dry heat. Humidity is one of the reasons why you feel hot and sticky in Singapore. To keep humidity at a comfortable 60%, invest in a dehumidifier. Buy one that switches off when it hits the desired humidity to save energy. Use any unwanted water from the dehumidifier to water plants.

Where to buy:

Go to Home-Fix for your dehumidifier fix.

Sure, the air conditioner is a convenient and cool option but there are other ways that can chill you down at home without upping your electric bills. All you need is a little ingenuity and a little understanding of Science. So, give the 10 tips a try today.

Where to shop:

Best Denki
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8
#03-02
Singapore 579837
Tel: (65) 6258 8488
www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Denki
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-01/07
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6564 4022
www.fukai.com.sg
Best Denki
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#04-12B
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6336 8218
www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Tech Furniture Gallery
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#03-48
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6425 2120
www.besttechaircon.com
Choong Ying
2 Jurong East Street 21
#03-17
IMM Building
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 68962452
www.sandbgroup.net
Courts
109 North Bridge Road
Funan Digitalife Mall
#03-10/12/13
Singapore 179097
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
1 Vista Exchange Green
The Star Vista
#01-14/15/16
Singapore 138617
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
21 Chua Chu Kang Ave 4
Lot One
#03-01
Singapore 689812
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
3 Tampines Central 5
Tampines Mall
#03-25
Singapore 529510
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Gain City
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#03-14
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6569 1212
www.gaincity.com
Harvey Norman
109 North Bridge Road
Funan Digitalife Mall
#B1-01
Singapore 179097
Tel: (65) 6334 5432
www.harveynorman.com.sg
Harvey Norman
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Shopping Centre
#03-22/23
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 339 6777
www.harveynorman.com.sg
H.M. Curtain Pte Ltd
604 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Shopping Centre
#02-26
Singapore 758459
Tel: (65) 6570 8027
www.hmcurtainsg.com
HM Deco
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-62
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 65679892
www.hmworldgroup.com
HM Gallery
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#05-08
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6884 4351
www.hmworldgroup.com
Home-Fix
1 Jelebu Rd
Bukit Panjang Plaza
#01-32
Singapore 677743
Tel: (65) 6769 9550
www.home-fix.com
Home-Fix
2 Jurong East St 21
IMM Building
#02-08/09
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6896 3280
www.home-fix.com
Home-Fix
21 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4
Lot 1 Shoppers’ Mall
#B1-07
Singapore 689812
Tel: (65) 6765 1823
www.home-fix.com
Home-Fix
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#B4-01
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6884 4586
www.home-fix.com
Home-Fix
311 New Upper Changi Road
Bedok Mall
#B2-17/18
Singapore 467360
Tel: (65) 6844 9245
www.home-fix.com
J&S Design
68 Orchard Rd
Plaza Singapura
#04-07
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6334 3933
www.jsdesign.com.sg
J&S Design
Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-40
Singapore 609601
Tel (65) 6569 3313
www.jsdesign.com.sg
Comments
User Bay
175.156.116.X | 2016-04-10 01:49:05
Point 10.

Dehumidifiers release hot air which will raise the temperature in the room by around 2 degrees.
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