Dubai: During summer, one of the more frequently asked questions is how to keep work and living spaces cool. Here are some useful tips:
Living area: Window curtains play an important part in the design aspect of a living area but they can also help to keep the area cool. It is preferable to fix external overhangs in sun-facing windows. But this will not necessarily work for east and west facing windows as the sun’s glare has a more direct path to your house. Use curtains and shades instead. It also helps to shade windows on the exterior.
The most effective way to cool your home is to insulate your walls and retrofit windows with double glazing. Another way of keeping temperatures down is ensuring doors and windows are draft proofed so no warm air comes in or cold air escapes.
It is a good idea to have ceiling fans in the house as it increases evaporation from the skin.
Walls: Go for pastel colours and avoid whitewashed walls. Opt for textured paint to give depth and focus to key areas of the house. Choose artwork that gives a psychosomatic sense of feeling cool.
The kitchen: Have stone countertops as they give a cooling effect and it is easy to clean. It is also highly durable. Don’t place a fridge near the cooker, the heat from both is harder to cool the kitchen.
Don’t put your cooker close to the windows as the condensation and humidity can make you uncomfortable.
Lighting: Over-lighting your home creates unwanted heat. A standard incandescent light bulb, for example, converts only 10 per cent of the electric current into light; the rest is emitted as heat.
Fluorescent or energy saving light bulbs produce a lot less wasted heat. LED lights are even better. It is also worth looking at tiles on the floor to give that sought-after cooling effect.
- The author is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Interact Group, an interior design and fit-out company based in Dubai