Summer means different things to different people. Most remember it for their childhood memories of playing out in the open sun, running in the grass and jumping in the pool or nearby ponds; carefree days when schools were closed and evenings were long and full of laughter and fun. However, there is a downside to summer too, it spells the beginning of the hot season when cranking up the AC and languishing energy-less in front of the fan seem to be a lot of most people.

But summers don’t necessarily have to be hot and tiresome as there are numerous ways you can buffer your home naturally from the heat, without having to crank up your electricity bills! Here are a few tips on keeping cool.

Curtains

Keeping curtains closed can reduce entry of heat by up to 30% from the windows. It also helps in reducing your electricity bills while preventing your home from becoming a virtual greenhouse – especially from south and west facing windows. Using dark curtains during summers blocks out the sunlight and helps in insulating the room from outside temperatures. Using neutral coloured curtains, but with white plastic backings also reduces heat.

Terrace

Coating the terrace with white lime wash helps in reflecting off a good amount of heat too; the only downside to this is it has to be repeated every year as the rain washes it out. Growing potted plants also helps in absorbing off a good amount of heat. Alternatively, you could try covering the terrace with a plastic sheet and then layer it with wet straw.

Bedding

Cotton breaths; during summers, opt for thin cotton sheets for your bed and do away with the flannels and fleece blankets. Keep the number of things on your bed to a minimum. Same rules apply to your clothing too – wear pure cotton to remain cool.

Fans

Hoping for some extra chilled-air to match the chilled hydrating drinks you have been glugging? The trick is to place a container of ice water under or in front of the fan; you will instantly feel the magic of extra-chilled air, better than anything your AC could give you. Another hack is to hang a wet towel in front of the fan so it churns out chilly air. Keep your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans on too to eliminate hot air.

Open your windows only during the cooler nights and create cross-ventilation. And get rid of heat-generating incandescent bulbs!