As summer arrives scorching heat knocks the door to enter the house from any entrance available. Frequent calls to repairmen to fix air coolers, AC units, refilling of gas, oiling of ceiling fans and random odd cooling related tasks is a common scene at every house. Adapting thermal break is a unique and effective technique that not only prevents heat from flowing in but also lowers the electricity bill.
It is a simple technique of using materials with low thermal conductivity during construction or even after that keeps interior cool. It is a natural way to keep interiors cool and cozy and is recommended for hotter zones like India. Just by using low thermal conductivity material natural insulation can be created. A well insulated house keeps house cool in summers and warm in winters. This process avoids exterior walls to transmit heat inside thus fluctuation in weather conditions get adjusted accordingly.
Solar radiation is the main cause of high temperatures, and heat gets in the interiors if proper thermal insulation has not been done. During the day time when balconies are heated up with its temperature higher than the ambient material, materials like wood fiber, plant fiber, straw or earth soil kept in between the exteriors and interiors avoid heat to percolate the interiors.
In colder regions like Kashmir or Himachal, reverse process is effective, with the gap plugged with straw and mud phuska. Essentially, the hollow space or straw being good insulators are good thermal conductors. Same process can be done with double glazed windows with air to create insulation.
However, if the building is ready and its design is completed there are still various ways to retrofit the same for summer-fit home.
- Painting the roof with light color and layering it with vermiculite or perlite insulator helps in thermal bridging.
- For sun-facing homes, heat reflective paint at the exterior walls is a good way out.
- Applying a layer of high density rock-wool on the exterior of the room where air conditioner is already fitted, this prevents heat transfer.
- Air conditioning or cooling equipments must be away from direct sunlight for more effective results.
- Aluminium framed windows with insulating shades is another useful way.
These methods increase cooling effect and helps keeping calm as well since they reduced electricity consumption too.