Keeping a Cool Home without Warming the Planet


Ah, summer. 

For many, their favorite season of the year. Time to hit the beach, go on exciting vacations and laze around all day under the sun. 

But this time of year also translates to sometimes unbearably hot temperatures at home, especially with the growing problems of climate change and pollution. When a trip to the beach is not possible, we tend to want to find more ways than one to cool off, stay fresh and comfortable while indoors. Hopefully, while being friendly to the planet. 

Clean, cool home with a minimalist design that flows outdoors for a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: urdesignmag

To stay cool during this summer season, we’ve listed 10 simple ways below to help you do so at home. We try to keep it as Earth-friendly as possible while being quick and easy. 

Here they are:

1. Install ceiling fans

When you look at summer houses or beach houses, you might spot a ceiling fan or two. If you have a shaded outdoor space where you like to spend time in, a ceiling fan would fit perfectly. With the soft fan breeze, sit there, read a book, have a chilled drink and you won’t feel the uncomfortable heat of summer. 

Ceiling fans can welcome you to sit outdoors, especially beautiful and pretty unique ones that can accentuate a space.These can complement your ceiling design or match that area’s furniture.

However, if a ceiling fan isn’t an option or you want to make it as simple as possible, just buy a typical floor fan. Have one for every room. There are several decorative or colored types that come in different sizes to suit the area of each space. 

Covered patio or lanai with comfortable seating and a ceiling fan to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: New York Magazine

2. Dehumidify

Summer seasons tend to make indoor space more humid – this is because warm air tends to hold more moisture. Consequently, this effect makes it uncomfortable to stay inside because it feels ‘icky’.

To alleviate this concern, get a dehumidifier. Find out how big a coverage your dehumidifier can cover and get one for each space. Not only will it keep the house more comfortable, but it will also make it cleaner. High humidity and moisture will make it easier for dirt, dust and viruses to survive; plus, it can even cause mold if left untreated for extended periods of time. 

Additionally, if you have several natural wood finishes at home, moisture and high humidity are a definite no-no. Furniture and other home decor might also be harder to maintain and clean in spaces that have prolonged high humidity.

Simple design to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: The Independent UK

3. Close your blinds and curtains

This one is a straightforward approach. Keep the heat to a minimum by closing your blinds. Or invest in blackout curtains to shield the indoors from the sun’s heat – especially during lunch time until early afternoon when it’s the strongest. 

There are several designs of blinds and curtains to choose from that will fit your current interior design theme. What’s good with this approach is, no matter if you choose blinds or curtains, you can always have them in double layers – one sheer, one blackout – allowing you to adjust how much natural light to welcome in. 

Modern minimalist interiors usually go for roller shades (or ‘roll down blinds’). They come straight down and have a simple and classic look; plus, they are easy to clean and maintain. Roller shades work very well if you have several windows on one side of your home – giving it that uniformed, minimalist look. If you live in a smart home, there’s also the option to have this motorized, controlling them with just a press of a button.

Uniformed, minimalist look with roller blinds to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: Real Homes

On the flip side, there are curtains. Curtains can soften any space because of their billowy look and feel. They also come in several varying shades that will suit your current color palette. You can stick to the muted, neutral tones to maintain that calm, relaxing feel. Or, you can have this part stand out with bright, bold colors. 

For example, the popular Japandi design uses sheer curtains because it softens the space while still allowing a generous amount of natural light to enter. On the other hand, the bohemian or granny chic interiors might go for something with more solid colors and bold design touches. 

P.S. If you can’t decide between both, you can combine blinds and curtains too!

Simple designed, double curtains to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: Architectural Digest India

4. Apply heat reducing film on windows

Imagine the tint on your car, this looks that way. Apply this thin film on windows that receive the strongest afternoon sun to slightly block it. Two advantages of this straightforward technique – it’s very easy to apply (simpler than blinds if you’re looking for an easier option) and when winter comes, it also helps to keep some heat longer indoors. 

Apart from the above, there are other benefits of tinted windows. 

  • help protect your furniture and other home decor that may fade from constant exposure to strong sunlight or UV rays
  • eliminates glare that may be annoying especially when the sun hits your TV
  • increases security and safety in your house because tints give more privacy and make it a tiny bit harder to break the glass 
Windows and glass doors with heat reducing film to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: Campbell Window Film

5. Plant trees and foliage strategically

Do you like sitting under large trees in parks? Plants are the most eco-friendly ways to try and reduce heat at home or get some shade. And, this works both indoors and outdoors. 

If you have extra space outside where your house faces west, that’ll be an ideal spot to plant large trees that can shield your home from direct sunlight. When you enjoy some outdoor time but have a hard time to spend long afternoons there, it’s time to plant some foliage or crawling vines on trellises. Not only will these strategically placed greens provide you some shade from but they’ll also breathe new life to your space and make it incredibly welcoming. Biggest bonus point, it’s a sustainable move that embraces the biophilic design concept

Keeping a Cool Home without Warming the Planet | CUBICOON

While these may take a while to come to fruition, especially the climbing vines, it’ll be easier, and still worth it, to invest in large outdoor trees, and large, leafy indoor plants. Indoor plants are amazing house decor that can immediately beautify your space and provide you other healthy benefits too. 

Large indoor plants for some shade to keep the home cool without warming the planet

Photo source: FTD

6. Let in some cool breeze 

No matter what the size of your windows are, in this case, the bigger the better; you can open them at night to let the cooler night air in. Or if you’re a morning person, open it around sunrise for some cool morning breeze. 

Temperatures are known to be lower at these times of day so they can consequently, cool your interiors if you let in some breeze. If you’re wary of insects or mosquitoes, have a screen installed in the inner part to block them off. If you’re worried about security, best to open them in the morning instead. 

A wonderful design here is when your windows are floor-to-ceiling and are movable doors that connect you to a balcony or backyard. So you can enjoy a little bit of the outdoors while enjoying the breeze. 

Large windows and doors that open wide to let the breeze in and keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: Home Designing

7. Open windows on both sides

While we’re on the topic of opening windows, maximize that breeze and cool air by opening windows on both sides of the house or at least on different faces. Not only will this allow proper air circulation and ventilation, but it also ensures that your indoor air is not stagnant because you’re allowing air to move in and out. 

This is not limited to windows. Open your garden, backyard or balcony doors for that healthy air movement if some sides of your home do not have windows to open. This will be amazing when you live on higher floors on an apartment building or condominium where the breeze is naturally cooler.

Opening windows on different sides to allow proper ventilation and keep a home cool without warming the planet

Photo source: Veranda

8. Keep interior doors open

And… keep that air flowing inside. During summer, try sitting in your room with all the windows closed and doors closed. Stay like that for 10 minutes or less and it’ll become suffocating, like the heat becomes palpable. 

Even if the air or wind outside is warm, it’ll always help to open windows and doors to keep the air circulating. At night, once you lock all the main doors and windows, you can keep doors to bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms open to maintain a bit of that cool temperature at home. It may be slightly easier to achieve this with the open layout design because of easier air flow.

Reducing obstruction to air circulation indoors by keeping doors open to keep it cool without warming the planet

Photo source: Real Simple

9. Do your cooking outdoors

If you’re really feeling the heat inside, step away from your oven and make a salad instead. While we all love a delicious oven-roasted meal for lunch or dinner, during summers, it’s advisable to cook outdoors to keep your indoors cool. 

It’s time to bring out the grill and have a little backyard barbecue party! Keep the heat of cooking outside. If you can’t get a short getaway to the beach, a small outdoor party at home is still a great alternative. You’ll have amazing fun, good food, great company and best of all, a cool home during the summer. 

Keeping a Cool Home without Warming the Planet | CUBICOON

10. Dress your furniture in cotton or bamboo

To keep you feeling cool as you lay down in bed or rest on your couch, use light covers for your furniture. These breathable materials are usually made of bamboo or cotton and are perfectly cooling as beddings and couch covers. 

Do away with wool and knits and invest in some of these lighter fabrics instead. Once you change your covers, you’ll immediately feel as if your interior space and home are lighter and more airy. Plus point, these are easier to maintain and wash too. 

As Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy England explains: “Pure cotton sheets have sensory benefits and are naturally breathable so they help to regulate your temperature and moisture levels while you sleep, stopping the clammy feeling you can experience with synthetic fibers.”

Lighter fabrics on furniture and beds to keep a cool home without warming the planet

Photo source: MyDomaine

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