Fight off the heat at home and in the kitchen

Vivir el hogar

Tips and tricks to keep the summer heat outside the home

With the arrival of summer oppressive heat also enters the home environment.
Do countermeasures exist to cope with this problem?

The most complete solution can be implemented when the house is still in the process of design or restructure.

Only in this case, you can carefully plan the orientation of glazed surfaces, thus ensuring the maximum possible flow of light inside, but at the same time blocking, the direct impact of the sun.

Technology and design

The first answer is one of technology: nowadays many people are equipped with an air conditioner or fan.
The use of these devices, however, greatly affects power consumption and literally "shoots out" an extra burst of hot air outside.
The most complete solution can be implemented when the house is still in the process of design or restructure.
Only in this case, you can carefully plan the orientation of glazed surfaces, thus ensuring the maximum possible flow of light inside, but at the same time blocking, the direct impact of the sun.

In order to have a good level of natural ventilation it is very important to correctly design the position of window openings so that they are located on opposite or adjacent walls, but never on coplanar walls, in which case it would not facilitate satisfactory air flow.
For windows subject to greater exposure extra shielding is desirable by designing the addition of projecting roofs and balconies or even the use of insulating glass and frame.
Another item to prioritize at this stage is the roof covering.
Choosing an effective insulating material can make a difference against heat penetration: the best option by far is that of cork boards.
Other cheaper and fairly satisfactory proposals could be polystyrene and fibreglass.
Artificial and natural shields
For already inhabited houses, to prevent the sun from beating directly on windows, balconies floors and walls, sun guards or classic sunshade awnings can be mounted. What is better is the use of water-repellent fabrics that are in light colours (to deflect more heat) and that are quite heavy (to withstand harsh weather).
The absolute best material in this case is hemp, which magnificently resists to heat, moisture and wear. Another type of shielding, decidedly more pleasant from many points of view, is that which is provided by natural vegetation.
Whoever is lucky enough to own a large garden around the house can plant trees that help in the optimisation of the internal ambient temperature throughout the year: evergreen trees in the North can shield the house from winter winds, while deciduous plants on the opposite side provide shade during the summer. Those with terraces or small balconies can populate the available space with plants and shrubs, which then offer some screening of the walls.
Plants can also consist of tall trees, so you can rely on abundant foliage to protect window frames from the heat.
Some advice for home and kitchen

When temperatures become unbearable at home is there any way to be able to act from inside?

1. If in the living room or the kitchen you have leather-covered seats, you can cover these with cotton sheets, because the leather naturally creates more heat.

2. When you are about to open the windows to aerate the walls, it is better to remove every type of carpet, mat or runner from the floor because, in this way, they get refreshed much faster.

3. For the dining table it is better to use tablecloths made of natural fibre, which possess higher transpiring properties.

4. Significant sources of heat are the common incandescent bulbs, which affect energy consumption more so than the low consumption (fluorescent) ones.
You can then replace them, or you can try to limit the quantity used and limit the amount of time they are used.

5. Avoid cooking hot meals at noon and try to use ovens and hobs only at night.

6. Open windows for refreshment or close them to keep out the heat?
You must use both options, the important thing is not to make mistakes with the timing: from the early mornings it is best to keep the shutters of the windows down, especially the ones exposed to the sun; in the evenings (no earlier than 18:00pm or even better later), you can open the windows to try to generate (as much as possible) a refreshing breeze.

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