Change your sheets

Use sheets of natural fibres like cotton or linen because they’re breathable and act like a natural thermostat drawing moisture off the body.

Ditch the cloth curtains

Invest in some bamboo blinds. Bamboo blinds block outdoor heat and keep the house cool. Or use blackout shades.

Replace your windows

Replace your thin windows with vinyl windows having tinted, double pane glass or apply a window tint to your existing windows.

Don’t add to the heat

Get rid of incandescent bulbs and use LED bulbs. Apart from producing carbon emission, incandescent bulbs also produce heat.

Seal your home

Make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed so heat doesn’t enter your house.

Air conditioners

Replace air conditioner filters at regular intervals.

Ensure air conditioners, even if they are a central system, have individual switches or controls in each room. Set your thermostats to 24C in the summer, and set it on automatic mode, so that it shuts and restarts at intervals.

Electrical appliances

Make sure you unplug your mobile phone charger when it is not in use. Unplug personal computers, electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use. Use one large multisocket to plug your computer, monitor, speakers, scanner, modem, and printer.

Bathrooms

Avoid long showers. Reduce your shower by a few minutes and save up to 500 litres a month.

To minimise the amount of water used for a bath, plug the drain first and fill the tub only 1/3 full.

You can save around 380 litres a week if you keep the tap closed while you shave.

When adjusting water temperatures, turn the water flow down instead of increasing it to balance the temperature.

Close your water heaters in the summer.

Kitchen

Reduce the number of times the refrigerator or freezer door is opened.

When baking breads, preheat the oven or pan 5-8 minutes before placing the bread. .

Turn off the oven 5 to 10 minutes before cooking time is up. The trapped heat will finish the cooking.

Make sure you clean your fridge and freezer often and defrost it.

Laundry

When buying a washing machine, try to go for highefficiency models. These use less than 100 litres per load. Wash your clothes in warm rather than hot water; this will cut consumption by 50 per cent.

Wash dark clothes in cold water. It will help clothes keep their colour, and also saves on water and energy.

Don’t

Dry your clothes in the dryer more than necessary. You will save 15 per cent in energy consumption. When possible, use a clothesline instead.

Go green

If you live in a villa, outdoor plants can help provide shade to your house, thereby blocking sunlight from entering it. If you live in an apartment, indoor plants like Aloe Vera, Weeping Fig and Sansevieria can purify the air in your house while keeping it cool.

Gardening

Your garden does not need to be watered daily. Check the soil moisture 2 to 3 inches below the surface, if the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are dry then it requires watering.

Use drip irrigation system for shrubs and trees.