As the summer dawns upon us and the heat in Chennai escalates, it becomes tempting to turn on the air conditioner and keep the fan on all day. There are, however, plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat in a cost-effective and energy-efficient manner. Why rack up your electricity bill when you can find sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives?

Black-out curtains

Blackout curtains are essentially curtains that block sunlight helping tooms to insulate naturally. Consumer reports recommend neutral-coloured curtains with white plant-based plastic backings – this is meant to reduce heat gain by 33%.
DIY faux sea breeze

An air conditioner cannot give off a faux sea breeze but this hack to your fan can! Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice, position it in front of a large fan at an angle so the air whips off the ice in a chilled state. Takes you right back to 6 pm at the beach!
Close that door

If your house has multiple rooms and closets, close off the unused rooms during the day to prevent cool air from permeating these areas. This capitalizes cooler nights as well – wherein air flows naturally through your home.
Readjust your ceiling fans

This may be a new fact but ceiling fans need to be adjusted seasonally. You can set the fan to run counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed. The fan’s airflow creates a nice chill breeze that will automatically cool down the room’s overall temperature.
Change your sheets

The seasonal switching of your bedding not only refreshes the look of a room but gets you prepared for the summer. Textiles like flannel, fleece, faux fur, and wool are great for when it’s chilly but the right answer to the summer is cotton. This fabric breathes easier and stays cooler. Lighter coloured fabric absorb less heat than darker colours so keep in mind the colour scheme of your linen too.
Focus on the temperature in your body, not just the house

Your body is in dire need of food that will keep it cool and hydrated for the summer. Stock up your fridge with some food that naturally cools down your body temperature – Avocados, bananas, berries, citrus fruits, buttermilk, coconuts, cucumbers, melon, mint, watermelon, yogurt, and popsicles of all kind will do the trick. Keep sipping on cold water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated to battle the summer.

#ProTip: As delicious as ice cream is, it actually warms you up while your body breaks down the dense calories in it.