“ACs and coolers are fine, but nothing evokes my memories of childhood summers like a ‘khus ki tatti’,” says Gurugram-based businessman, Avinash Arora. Confused? Arora spent his summer vacations in a little town named Tundla in UP. North Indian summers are infamous for their intense heat, which can even prove fatal. Very few things can help you survive such weather and a ‘khus ki tatti’ is one of them, the businessman maintains. A ‘khus ki tatti’ is a wholly natural blind/ curtain mat that is made of reeds and special grass, laid out neatly in a box and complete with water pipes for drip wetting. This mat is laid across open doorways and windows and helps lower the temperature indoors.
1. Use water to cool the home
Home hacks can work well. A simple trick involves using a bucket of water. Dip the bottom hems of your curtains into the bucket and leave the fan on. The water slowly seeps upwards through the fabric and the breeze will carry the coolness into the room
2. Keep the rooms dark
We all know how relaxing it is, to get away from the glare of a hot summer sun and into a cool space, under the shade. To achieve this, buy cotton curtains in the darkest colour possible. Ensure that the curtains have a thick lining, so that the sunlight doesn’t fade them. Dark green or brown are easy choices. Keep the curtains drawn shut, right from morning. If your room stays shielded from sunlight all day, it is bound to remain relatively cooler.
See also: Tips to get your home summer-ready
3. Leave the bathroom door open
Keep your bathroom door ajar, pour a few litres of water on the floor and let the breeze do its job again
4. Place plants near the window
Leafy plants, too, can work wonders. If you have some large decorative or potted plants around, move them closer to your windows. They will absorb most of the heat and create a cooling effect around them
5. Leave the fridge alone
You may be tempted to reach for cold water and ice-cubes frequently, but opening and shutting the refrigerator multiple times, increases the load and temperature on its motor. This, in turn, increases the ambient temperature in your house
6. Use cool lighting options
From LEDs to fluorescent lights, there are many cool lighting options available, so there’s no reason to continue using hot incandescent bulbs. Similarly, switch off all electrical appliances, especially the TV, when not in use. Even a mobile charger emits heat
7. Buy a dehumidifier
You will breathe much easier, once the intense humidity is reduced. You can check online sites for the best deals
8. Use cotton fabrics
Summer is no time for fancy satin or silk bedsheets, or for faux leather upholstery. Buy at least one set of crisp cotton bedsheets, in white or pastel shades. If your couch is upholstered in any fabric that’s not cotton or linen, buy some sofa covers or throws that are made of cotton
9. Open the windows at sunset
If you throw open your windows at the right time, you will get the benefit of the cool evening breeze. This will lower the temperature of your home and make it more comfortable for the night ahead. Also, open up every internal door in your house, including kitchen cabinets and bathroom, bedroom and closet doors. This will help, to dissipate the heat that is built up during the course of the day and reduce the overall temperature. Remember to close these doors as soon as the next day dawns and the sun is up again.