In sunny Singapore, the first thing you may think of on a hot day is to reach for the air-con remote. However, using the air-con all day round can rack up hundreds in electricity bills, not to mention being bad for the environment. What are some alternatives to cooling down your home? Well, if you are looking into BTO renovation or condo renovation, you may want to consider these environmental and cost-friendly cooling solutions as part of your home makeover.
Make Use of Fans
The next best alternative to cooling many homes, fans do not turn the temperature down but rather circulate the surrounding air, creating ventilation and causing the environment to feel cooler. Fans are also fairly affordable, with anything as low as $10 able to get you a small desk fan, while a ceiling or wall-mounted fan could cost around $100. You will find no shortage of options when picking out a fan for your BTO renovation or condo renovation, as fans come in many different types and sizes. A portable standing fan may do well for some homes, but if floor space is a concern, you could look into getting a ceiling fan with lights for a simple, functional look. For the best ventilation and cooling effect, you will want to get a ceiling fan that spins in an anti-clockwise direction, with fan blades at an angle of 12 to 16 degrees. This will help to push the cooler air down into the room where you can feel it.
Get Window Shades and Curtains in Light Colours
The heat from sunlight contributes as high as half of the total heat in your home during the day. If the sun shines directly into your windows during the day, this could create a mini greenhouse effect in your home, resulting in unbearable levels of heat. You can effectively keep the sun and heat out with window shades, blinds and curtains, but just make sure that they are light-coloured. It is well known that dark colours keep the heat in, and your home is no different. Light colours will reflect sunlight, while dark colours will absorb the sunlight and warm up the interior of your home. In addition, light colours also have the added benefit of making your home appear larger and more spacious.
While you’re at it, we also recommend applying tint to your windows, especially those facing direct sunlight. A good window film will be able to reduce the heat, glare and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Make the Switch to LED Lights
If you’re not already using LED lightbulbs, you should – they have a longer lifespan, are cheaper, use less energy, and most importantly, contribute less heat compared to other types of lightbulbs. A bulb that gives off a considerable amount of heat, such as an incandescent bulb, is less energy-efficient simply because the heat it loses to the surroundings is energy that was converted to unwanted heat instead of the desired brightness. Over time, the constant heat can wear out the filament in the bulb, shortening its lifespan. The higher the wattage of a bulb, the more heat it emits. In the case of LED bulbs, they use a much lower wattage than incandescent bulbs to produce a similar or higher level of brightness, resulting in a smaller amount of heat emitted.
Keep Greens in Your Home
A green home is not only a welcoming sight, it also helps to cool your house down. During the daytime, plants take in carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen and water, cooling the air around them and keeping it fresh. Some plants can even remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air, effectively purifying the air in your home. On top of that, plants make great aesthetics and can easily fit into any home as a decoration. If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t fret! You can always start easy with a low-maintenance plant, such as a money plant, weeping fig, aloe vera, or succulents. All of these will cool your home down perfectly while serving as great décor without too much fuss!
Open Your Windows at Night
When the air is cooler at night, it’s a good idea to open the windows to let fresh air in. By opening the way for better airflow, you’re letting stale air out and allowing fresh air in, which gets rid of the warmer air from the daytime and invites the cooler night air in. For an even better effect, you may also want to leave the doors in your home open, including your main door if possible. You don’t have to keep it open all night long – just for a while around the evening so that you will be able to enjoy the crisp night air.