The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the summer months of April, May and June are expected to have above normal temperatures, which means the hot days are going to get hotter, with the sun at its scorching best.
“Upcoming Hot Weather Season (April to June) is expected to have the above normal sub-divisional average seasonal temperatures (maximum, minimum and mean) over most of the meteorological sub-divisions of the country except the subdivisions of eastern, east-central and southern parts for the country that are likely to experience slightly below normal seasonal temperatures,” the IMD said in its bulletin.
Here are 10 ways to can keep your home cool this summer:
1. Take a large metal bowl, fill it with ice and place it in front of a fan. As the air will blow over the ice, it will help the temperature in the room dip.
2. Try cross-ventilation so that the air inside the room circulates properly. Strategically open your windows at opposite ends between 5 am and 8 am and 7 pm to 10 pm, when the air is cooler.
3. Keep your room clutter-free. Remove unwanted curios, furniture, reading materials, synthetic drapes, and thick carpets that make you feel hot, physically and psychologically.
A clean room creates more space for air circulation. Fill vases, bowls and glass vessels with water, put flower petals and leaves and place at various points of the house. Keep the fans on.
4. Turn off lights, especially incandescent bulbs. They radiate a lot of heat. Go for cooler light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescents (CFLs).
5. Make rice pillows as they keep your bed cool. You can chill them in the refrigerator and use them at night.
6. Get more indoor plants and place them strategically. Place shady trees and plants on east and west to block sun rays. Get vines and creepers for staircase, balustrades, balcony grills or indoor screens/dividers.
The shaded area under them will be as much as 20 degree cooler than the surroundings, claim The Better India.
7. Get cotton or jute or bamboo curtains. Keep your curtains drawn between 10 am to 4 pm. If you are using jute curtains, you may spray them with cold water from time-to-time. That way, it will have a cooling effect in the room.
8. Paint the roof and walls white as white reflects the sun’s UV (ultra-violet) rays instead of absorbing them. If you don’t want to go for a permanent colour, get a coat of white lime wash done. It will help the slab to remain cool and will get washed away in the rains during monsoon.
9. Grow plants on window ledges outside. The plants will help in humidifying and cool the hot air in and around your house.
10. Sleep like an Egyptian. Just soak your blanket in water before going to bed or put a light bedsheet underneath you, and then sleep with the damp blanket on top of you. If it does not suit you, you may sprinkle talcum powder for babies to absorb sweat as well as keep you cool.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.