How do you cool down in this scorching summer heat ?
The Philippines is a beautiful tropical country, blessed with gorgeous beaches and other natural wonders. However, because the Philippines is a tropical country, the dry season can also get incredibly hot and uncomfortable.
One solution to keep things cool is to turn on your air-conditioner. However, doing this can cause your electricity bill to skyrocket. What’s more, not all Filipinos households have an aircon unit ready. The good thing is that there are a lot of simple solutions that can help combat the heat and increase your comfort. Here are some tips:
Create a Crosswind With Two or More Fans
To create a crosswind, the first thing you have to do is place one or more electric fans on the coolest side of your home. Usually, this is the area that gets the most shade. Make sure that these fans are facing the inside of your house, so that they can pull in cooler air and blow it inwards. Then, place the same number of electric fans on the opposite side of the room, facing the windows. This will push the hot air out.
You can do this with any kind of electric fan, but a stand fan would be the most ideal since they have the ideal height to reach the windows. A stand fan is also portable so you can easily move them from room to room.
To maximize the effect of the crosswind, open as many doors inside the house as possible. This helps improve the airflow and assists the fans in circulating the air more effectively.
Use Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans work by pulling the hot air from a space and then blowing it out. Usually, Filipinos have these fans installed in the bathroom and the kitchen. If you have them, don’t hesitate to turn them on to make the hot air flow out faster.
Close the Curtains or Blinds
It might seem counterintuitive to draw the curtains or blinds shut to cool down a room, since you’re trying to let the cool outside air in. However, did you know that windows can let in as much as 25% more heat if you keep them open?
To help block the heat, pull close the curtains or blinds during the hottest hours of the day. Then, once the day starts to cool in the late afternoon and night, you can reopen the windows for maximum airflow.
Use Some Ice
If you want some extra-cool air to circulate at home, you can place a container of ice in front of your electric fan. The ice will cool the air being pushed by the fan, so you’ll feel a lot more comfortable. As an alternative, there are also air coolers that you can load with water, ice, or ice packs directly.
Cook at Early in the Morning or at Night
Appliances like ovens and stoves generate a lot of heat. If you can, batch-cook your food during the early morning or at night to offset the heat output. You can also use other cooking appliances that don’t release as much heat, such as an instant pot or air fryer. Grilling outside the house is also a good idea.
Other large appliances that can give off a lot of heat include washing machines and clothes dryers. If you can do these chores at night, it will help make things more comfortable during the day.
Buy a Dehumidifier
One of the worst things about the Philippine climate is that the heat is very humid. This can make things more uncomfortable, since it can make your sweat feel sticky. To counter this problem, try using a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air.
The ideal humidity level is around 60%, so turn off the unit when it reaches that number or slightly below it. If you want, there are models that automatically turn off once they reach a preset threshold.
Use Cotton Bed Sheets
There’s a reason why people are encouraged to wear loose clothes made of cotton during the summer: cotton is a light, breathable fabric. Just this simple change can help improve your comfort levels. If you need further cooling down at night, use cotton bed sheets and pillowcases.
Turn Off the Lights
If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it’s about time to replace them. They emit a lot of heat and are not very energy-efficient. Don’t forget to turn off lights that aren’t in use, since even LED bulbs generate heat (anything that consumes electricity also generates heat). Of course, turning off unused lights doesn’t just help keep a room cool but also prevent wastage.
Place Some Plants Around Your House
Over the past few years, many Filipinos have become plantitos and plantitas. The good thing about this is that plants and trees can help block the sun and also amplify the breeze when it blows. Place plants in strategic locations, such as near windows to maximize the benefits. You can also try planting some ivy and let them crawl on the walls so that they don’t get heated up by the sun.
Last but not least, don’t forget to hydrate. Plain water is ideal, but you can also drink coconut water and unsweetened fruit juices for a healthy way to cool down.