5 Creative ways to keep Malaysian homes cool without air con

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Beat the Malaysian hot spells with these simple and natural methods.

At times, the prolonged heatwaves of our tropical country can be rather unforgiving, especially during the dry months. In case you’ve not noticed, Malaysia, particularly Klang Valley, has not been getting enough rain showers in the recent month. In warmer days like this, it’s tempting to crack the air-conditioner unit on full blast in order to cool the house. Unfortunately, it’s neither a budget-friendly nor an environmental-friendly way to reduce the temperature of your home.

We agree that turning on your air-conditioner unit is the easiest and fastest method to cool your house but it might result in you racking up your electricity bill. It turns out that there are plenty of other ways to buffer your home from the heat without spending a fortune on your bills. Here are five natural methods to bring down the temperature of your home.

1. Invest in blackout curtains

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If your curtains are letting in a lot of sunlight during the day, chances are they are not insulating the interior from heat. The best way to deal with this is to switch them out for insulated ones or even aluminised blinds that reflect the sun’s heat while allowing the breeze in. However, if you’re one of those who likes curtains, then we suggest you invest in blackout curtains as they block sunlight, naturally insulating the rooms in which they’re installed. Our tip would be to opt for neutral-coloured curtains with white plastic backings as they can reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.

2. Make a DIY air-conditioner

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Now, this might sound impossible to you, but trust us when we say it is a lot easier than you think. Although they’re myriad of ways to make DIY air-conditioners, we will tell you the easiest one which only requires you three ingredients. All you need is a metal bucket or a bowl, a bag of ice cubes, and a fan. Put the ice in the bucket and place the fan to blow over the ice. Voila!

3. Cross ventilation

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Air naturally moves from a high pressure area to a low pressure area. This is what creates breeze. Therefore, by opening the windows on both sides of your house, you will create high and low pressure areas on both ends respectively, creating a cross breeze that will draw the heat out.

4. Ditch the incandescent bulbs

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Incandescent bulbs waste about 90% of their energy in the heat they emit, hence it’s a best to toss them away in order to make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electricity bill. Alternatively, you can switch to LEDs as they’re brighter, super energy efficient and produce less heat, which makes them a worthwhile investment in the long term. During this summer days, it’s probably a good idea for you to look seriously into switching your home bulbs to LEDs.

5. Add plants

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We all know that adding a pot or two of plants around your house can uplift the aesthetic of your home. But it’s also worth mentioning that plants can keep your house cool because they lose water during transpiration and this cools the air around the plants, leaving it purified and fresh. Certain plants can not only keep the air cool but it also helps flush toxins in the air as well. For example, areca palm tree acts as both a decorative house plant as well as a natural humidifier. In addition to cooling off your home, the areca palm can also remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. Plants are definitely a natural and inexpensive way to keep the house temperate down.

READ: 5 low maintenance indoor plants for the busy beavers

Written by Rubaa Shunmuganathan. 

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