Tips and Guides

101: 4 Cost-Efficient Ways to Beat the Heat

Save electricity and keep the home breezy with these tips

Original Article: Katherine Lopez and Tala Singson

Given our country’s climate and the hot days recently, it’s not surprising that many homeowners resort to air-conditioning. Why would you choose to stay in a humid room when you can cool down and sleep soundly in a cold and refreshing space? However, much as we love our AC units, we also need to keep in mind the rising electricity bill.

“Location, sizing, and orientation of the structure, placing of windows, materials (inside and out), and color all take part in making the space cool or hot,” explains architect Nerisse Sotto of Yan + Sotto Architects and Builders. To cool a space, Nerisse recommends the use of passive cooling. Here are four must-dos that you can consider:

Main photos from: The Gifts of Life via Tumblr and Dust Jacket.

Limit heat that enters the house.

“Materials like wood or clay bricks can lower heat inside the house. Use ledge and overhangs to cover the windows and limit the sunrays seeping indoors,” Nerisse recommends.

Photo from Anne Decker Architects.

Install louvers.

“Louvers are very effective in cooling a house. Take for instance the old houses and structures that make use of louvers on top and ventanillas on the lower portion of the window.”

Louvers let in air while keeping sun and rain out. Nerisse adds, "If possible, throw hot air out by placing louvers on the roof."

Photo from Just The Design via Tumblr.

Make sure that the house is properly insulated.

“Proper insulation helps reduce or slow down heat gain, making a space cool. The roof is the largest area of the house that is directly exposed to the sun, so properly insulating the roof and ceiling is vital in lowering indoor temperature.” Nerisse adds that wool, bubbles, foam boards, and fiberglass can be used as insulation materials.

RL Tip: It’s best to ask help from professionals and specialists when installing insulation materials as the correct sealing of gaps and connections is very important.

Photo from Lili in Wonderland.

Make your home light and airy through decorating.

“For homes and condos, try to keep your house’s color palette in a lighter shade to give a feeling of airiness. If there are windows on one side only, use sheer curtains. Indoor plants also help in improving air quality, as they work on keeping temperature down and reducing carbon dioxide levels.”

Photo from Coastal Style.

This snippet originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

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