Every summer we ask ourselves whether this is the hottest one so far. Are summers getting hotter, or are we becoming more sensitive to the heat as we are getting older? Age is not the problem, however global warming is. Research shows the temperature will be one degree higher in the whole BiH by 2030, with a rapid increase during the summer period, with uneven changes in the amount of precipitation.
Many are continually trying to find a way to cool themselves and their living spaces. Air conditioners are certainly one of the most commonly chosen options, but what mistakes do people make when trying to cool down? Experts from the Bosnia Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP), implemented by the Federal Ministry of Physical Planning, are bringing you advice on how to cool down as efficiently as possible on hot summer days/nights.
Put shades on your windows
They might not be the shades that first cross your mind, but they protect your windows and therefore living spaces. Shutters, dark curtains or blinds – they all protect the rooms from outside heat and sunlight. For rooms on the lower floors, we advise you to turn the screens upwards to prevent heat penetration. In the evening, when the temperatures are lower, open the windows, remove all the shades from them and ventilate the room. And in the morning, close the windows, put the protection over them again, and leave the rooms darkened during the day.
Reduce the use of household appliances
Try to avoid using devices that further heat your living space during the day. Use appliances such as irons, washing machines, or dishwashers at night. Avoid the biggest source of heat – your oven – and try cooking outside (if you have that option) or wait for the night and then prepare meals for the next day. If there are devices you don’t use during the day, like computers, lights, or even the TV if it’s only turned on to “produce background noise” – turn them off. All these devices additionally heat your space and unnecessarily raise the temperature in your rooms. Cheaper electricity periods during the summer are from 23:00 to 08:00, so grab an iron while the evening breeze cools you. While you sleep, let the washing machine do its job, and you enjoy a pleasantly chilled room.
While we recommend that you use fewer lights in the rooms during the day, so that the rooms do not heat up more, it’s important to note that there are better alternative options when you need light. The so-called energy-saving light bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) consume less electricity than ordinary incandescent bulbs for the production of same amount of light. At the same time, they have a longer lifespan than conventional light bulbs, by as much as 8-15 times. Mainly due to lower electricity consumption and thus less environmental contamination of fossil fuel power plants, various organizations are trying to increase the use of energy-saving light bulbs in many ways, and therefore to reduce the use of conventional light bulbs.
Less is more!
If you don’t have a fan, a hand fan, or a drink with a lot of ice in the fight against high temperatures, and you opt exclusively for air conditioning, then do it in moderation. We are never comfortable when we enter stores in which the temperature is often 15-20 degrees lower than outside. Therefore, keep in mind that the difference between the outdoor temperature and that in an air-conditioned room should not exceed 6°C. If you leave the place where you are staying, leave the air conditioner at a comfortable 25 degrees.
Houseplants look fantastic, but they also consume hot air from the room for their natural processes. Plants can keep your house fresh because they lose water during transpiration, which cools the air around the plants, leaving it purified and clean. If you are looking for a natural and cheap way to keep your house cool, consider purchasing some of these plants, which can lower the temperature: aloe vera, ficus, fern, snake plant, or golden pothos. This way, the rooms will be nicer and more comfortable for you to stay in them. In addition to these tips, don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids during the summer days, wear light and airy clothes, and shower with moderately cold water to cool down.