Those who don’t believe in global warming will do well to spend a few days in South Africa during summer’s peak. And speaking of which, the current summer looks to be another scorcher for us and our homes – which, for many of us, now include home offices.

And so the challenge becomes to keep our interiors (including our offices) cool by day so we can sleep comfortably in a relatively cool home by night. And did we mention that we won’t use air-conditioning to help keep electricity costs low?

Let’s see what our options are…


1. Purchase fans

Roca Llisa ARRCC Modern living room

Note: this is to cool yourself, not your house, for while fans are great at making you feel cooler due to blowing away hot air and helping sweat to evaporate, they don’t lower the overall temperature of a space.

Hint: Opt for bigger, more powerful fans (like tower fans) for bigger, open-plan spaces like living rooms.

2. Freeze a bowl of water

152 Waterkant GSQUARED architects Minimal style Bathroom

And place it at an angle in front of your fan. The evaporating ice and air blows will provide essential moisture and coolness. Remember that leaving bowls of water throughout your home boosts moisture levels.

3. Have a braai

Patio JBA Architects Patios Solid Wood Wood effect

Remember that the main aim is to cool your house down. Thus, give your kitchen a break from cooking and stick to no-cook meals, like salad.

4. Keep the sun out

Atlantic Views - Main Bedroom Jenny Mills Architects Modern style bedroom

Incoming sunshine means incoming heat. So, invest in proper shades, blinds, and curtains to adequately cover your windows and keep your rugs and upholstery from fading.

See our wide range of professional Interior Designers and Decorators to help you select picture-perfect window treatment, among other things…

5. Open your windows at night

Camps Bay House 1 GSQUARED architects Minimalist house White

As temperatures drop at night, opening windows will usher some cooler air inside. Just be sure to keep yourself and your home safe by not inviting any unwanted ‘guests over.

And remember to close those windows again in the morning before the heat rises.

6. Cotton to cotton

Beach Retreat Studio Do Cabo Eclectic style bedroom

Stick with plain cotton sheets for cooler summer nights. And don’t be fooled into going with ultra-high thread counts, as they can actually be a lot hotter than lower thread count sheets.



7. Buy houseplants

Formal Sitting Room Natalie Bulwer Interiors Living room

Aside from adding colour and detail, houseplants can also make a considerable difference to your interiors during a heat wave. Thanks to transpiration, plants up the humidity of the surrounding space, boost moisture, and also help to reduce indoor pollutants.

And it would seem two of the most popular plants in this regard are peace lilies and rubber plants.


VISI 84 July Feature 2016 The Painted Door Design Company Eclectic style bathroom

Jumping into a cool shower right before bed lowers your body temperature and cleanses away sweat, allowing you to drift off more easily.

9. Change to cool lighting

Clifton Apartment Make Architects + Interior Studio Modern kitchen

Shutting off lights lowers your electricity bill while keeping those miniature heaters, especially incandescent bulbs, from warming your interiors even more. Rather switch to low-energy light bulbs to avoid overheating!

10. Go with the (air)flow

FIRTH 114802 by Three14 Architects Three14 Architects Minimalist corridor, hallway & stairs

Open opposite doors and windows in your home to, along with your trusty fan(s), create cooler (and cleaner) wind tunnels.

11. Don’t charge your phone at night

Exner Penthouse 2MD Exclusive Italian Design Modern style bedroom

Anything that’s not in use need to be switched off to stop generating more heat – and that includes your phone, computer, etc. For your kitchen appliances, ensure that your fridge and freezer’s backs have adequate ventilation space so they don’t unnecessarily pump excess heat into your kitchen.

Courtesy of Johannes Van Graan of Homify



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