Philippines being a tropical country often experience extreme humidity. Keep yourself and your house cool even without air conditioning by following our simple steps listed in this article. Read to know more.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the hot dry season, colloquially referred to as “summer” has officially started this March 16, 2022, in the country. This signifies warmer weather in the coming weeks with daily heat index records rising from March to May, with the highest being 51°C in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, recorded on March 6, 2022.
While the weather is generally dry, there will be “day-to-day rainfall distributions influenced mostly by easterlies and localized thunderstorms.” PAGASA Administrator, Vicente Malano, advised the public to take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress and optimize water use for daily personal and domestic consumption.
Moreover, the Philippines is a densely populated country with an estimated 104.9 million people and 19.9 million households as of November 2021 by Statista Research Department. The average household electricity consumption was about 248.1-kilowatt-hours in 2015, primarily used for lighting, cooking, recreation, and space cooling purposes.
Majority of Filipinos, both in the residential and industrial sector, in the urban areas have access to electricity as compared to rural areas where the lowest income brackets use kerosene for lighting. In the study of Nakia, et. al. (2019), the latest energy consumptions survey by the Department of Energy in 2011, stated that the third largest end-use electricity by households is space cooling and air conditioning (AC).
Air conditioners are used by 10% of the Philippines’ population and around 20% of Metro Manila’s population, which is highly expected to increase in the future due to economic growth. Turning the AC on also means emptying your wallet, wherein AC units are usually found in most public buildings, such as malls, offices, restaurants, and hotels. There is nothing like walking from a summer heatwave and into the comfort of air conditioning, however, the high cost of air conditioning means that not all homes come with this luxury.
Read Also: Your Guide to Summer’s In-Season Fruits
How to Keep Your House Cool Without Air conditioning?
When the weather heats up, how do you keep a house cool without air conditioning? Check out the following tips that will help your indoor space to stay cool all dry season long.
1. Cover Your Windows
If left uncovered during the hottest parts of the day, windows will let in direct sunlight, so it is best to put something over it to keep the heat out. Awning or shutters can do the trick because they block sunlight before hitting the glass. Window shades, like cellular shades, are energy-efficient options to create a barrier with the glass and keep the heat outside and keep the cool air locked inside. Curtains and blackout shades is usually the cheapest and easiest way to help control how much light gets into your home.
2. Close and Insulate Your Doors
When you spend most of your time in one room, you must close the doors that you aren’t using as often. This will help keep the cool air concentrated in a single area. If the doors have gaps at the bottom, invest in home insulation, such as weather strips or door sealers that are inexpensive and easy to put in yourself.
3. Fans are the Next Best Thing
If you don’t have the budget to buy a new one, you can take these few maintenance steps to optimize the ones you have:
- Rotate your ceiling fans counterclockwise at a high speed to push the air straight down and create a breeze effect. Conversely, during the rainy season, it can be set to clockwise and low speed in order to slowly force warm air down into the room.
- Clean them regularly to keep your fan dust-free and it also helps your fan to work better since dirt can heat up the motor and make them run slowly.
- Polish the blades to reduce drag and improve their ability to move air. Remove the blades, wipe them with a damp cloth, dry and coat with furniture or metal polish, and completely dry before reinstalling.
- Oil your fan with a few drops of light machine oil to get rid of any squeaking sounds and help the motor run efficiently. But not all motors can be oiled so you must look up at the manufacturer’s instruction guide first.
- Fix wobbling by tightening or replacing loose screws in your fan when you use it a lot harder than it has to.
4. Place Your Fan in the Right Place
Since fans keep air moving around, it is advisable to set up your fan near windows or hallways to draw the cooler air from the outside and allow the breeze to flow into the warm areas.
5. Replace Your Lightbulbs
Incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the heat energy they emit, thus making the switch to low or no-heat bulbs, like compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LED bulbs can make a huge difference in cooling your home and lowering your electricity bill.
6. Open Windows at Night
Take advantage of breezy summer evenings to help you and your family sleep better. Cooler air will circulate at night and allow a fresh start with a cooler home in the morning.
7. Use Cotton Sheets
Swap out your current bed sheets with cotton ones. Its natural fibers contain the most lightweight and breathable fabric to help you stay cool and get a good night’s sleep. If you tend to sweat a lot at night, you can opt for moisture-wicking sheets.
8. Consider a Dehumidifier
Moist heat is more uncomfortable than dry heat for both people and pets. Dehumidifiers will remove the moisture out of the air inside your home, making it much more comfortable even with higher temperatures outside. You can also use the water gathered by the humidifier to water plants.
9. Plant Vines
Vines will work similarly to installing an awning. These grow quickly and provide a cooling shade by blocking the sunlight heating up exterior walls and reducing the temperature that enters inside the home.
10. Wear Breezy Clothing
It is important to also focus on keeping yourself and not only the room cool. You can wear shorts instead of pants or sleeveless tops/t-shorts instead of sweaters while you have a fan running. Meanwhile, choosing the right pajama fabrics for sleepwear, like lightweight cotton pajamas is a great option.
Written by Gianne D. Inumerable