Ways to cool your home without ACs

10 Ways to cool your home this summer

For a people who are obsessed with innovative hacks (or jugaad if you will), the biggest challenge right now is keeping cool through the merciless summer. If you think nothing can beat the heat other than air-conditioned spaces and collectively fantasizing about the monsoon, think again.

Old-school cooling off

Only a few decades back, electrical cooling was mostly confined to ceiling fans. Yet, people kept cool through passive cooling methods integrated into the design of their homes. Some of these techniques included building stepwells, jaalisjharokhas, and sun shades among others. People also used grass mats dampened with water to shield rooms from the sun and set up shamiyanas around the house for shade. In the South, traditional homes had the central courtyard that was open to the sky, ensuring good ventilation. Flooring and plastering was chosen carefully to keep inhabitants cool.

Constructing cool

If you are considering building a home, the following tips will be helpful to keep your home cool:

Natural ventilation

Talk to your architect about maximizing natural ventilation and enhancing cross breeze. This way, summer discomforts can be minimized in your dream home.

Construction materials

Materials used in construction of walls and roofs can affect how much heat is transferred indoors. Speak to your builder to figure out what materials you can opt for to protect against excessive heat.

Colour me cool

When choosing exterior and interior paints, avoid darker colours – especially for bedrooms, as they absorb heat while lighter colours reflect heat away.

White lime wash

A white lime wash on your terrace will reflect away direct sunlight. Be sure to refresh the white lime wash after every monsoon, though.

Handful of cooling tricks

Look no further for ways to cool your existing home.

Go green

Grow plants on the terrace to stop heat from being transferred to the floors below. Or grow vines along the sides of the house that receive the most heat during the day. You could also have small plants growing along window sills to improve the quality of air.

Hey, hay!

Terraces can also be kept cool by laying stacks of hay on plastic sheets and misting them regularly. This is an adaptation of the wet grass blinds of the old days. Inexpensive yet effective, this technique can prevent lower floors and walls from absorbing heat from the terrace.


In summer, we keep tend to keep all windows and doors shut assuming that heat can be kept out. The truth is, this makes things worse. Be weather wise when ventilating, instead. Throw open windows and doors early in the morning and later in the evening. This way you’ll have cross ventilation with air that is not heated by the sun.

Wonderful windows

Bamboo blinds are fabulous ways to cool homes. They also lend a unique aesthetic appeal to homes. If you’re not into blinds, you could dress your windows with curtains made from light fabrics and bright colours or pastel shades that don’t absorb heat.

Eliminate electrical heat

Your devices and lighting can emit enough heat to create discomfort. Replace heat-generating lights with LED or similar alternatives. Service refrigerators and other appliances regularly to ensure they don’t spew hot air.

DIY cooling

Set up mist fans or place a tray full of ice cubes in front of a table fan to cool the circulating air.

The summers aren’t going to get any easier in the near future. It is best to plan ahead and set up little tactics to cool your homes. While air conditioners may be an obvious option, it is far more environmentally conscious and economical to manage the heat with these tricks.

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