How do I cool my home naturally this summer?

Air Conditioning FAQs

There are many ways to cool your home naturally and effectively in the hotter months, in order to complement your existing air conditioning system, and reduce your overall energy bills.

Nobody likes to be uncomfortable in the heat, but with planning and foresight, anyone can cool their living spaces naturally. Some of these methods can be implemented immediately by anyone in any situation, while others take more time and attention to detail. If natural cooling is something you’d like to put into place but you are unsure where to begin, this article will outline the benefits and challenges of natural cooling and get you on the road to cooling your home naturally this summer.

But first, what is natural cooling?

Natural cooling is the process of cooling areas without the aid of mechanical devices, such as air conditioning units. Natural cooling requires dedication and a multi-pronged approach to achieve successfully, but once in place it is easy to maintain, and, when done correctly, provides lasting cooling effects, while are also being viable and sustainable long term.

How can I start implementing natural cooling?

Natural cooling can be achieved by putting simple things in place to minimize the impact of heat entering your home and maximize ventilation and cool breeze. Here are several methods anyone at home can try today:

  • In warmer weather, close indoor and any outdoor blinds to help provide shade, as up to 30% of heat leaks in from windows
  • Where possible, install block out curtains. These act as a natural barrier to the heat and insulate rooms
  • Insulate windows and doors wherever possible
  • Identify indoor sources of heat and try to eliminate them. This can include appliance usages such as dryers, ovens, and stovetops. One way to combat extra indoor heat from cooking is to cook using a barbecue outdoors instead.
  • Turn off bright fluorescent lights in the warmer hours
  • Allow for a cross breeze to enter your home by opening windows and doors inside your home to allow the breeze to pass through uninterrupted
  • Leave windows open at night when the breeze is at its coolest

There are also several other ways to achieve natural cooling in your home. These include taking into account your home design to take natural cooling to the next level. This approach is often referred to as passive cooling, a process that takes advantage of the natural climate to cool your home.

Passive cooling and building design

When building or designing a house there are many ways you can use the design of your house to maximise the benefits of natural cooling. Examples include taking into account north or south facing rooms and windows and positioning windows to help breeze flow freely through the house. Other things to consider is planting extra trees around your property to help provide shade, using light coloured or reflective roof tiles and positioning your house to take advantage of cool breezes.

Benefits of natural cooling:

  • Helps cut down and save on energy consumption. Even if you use these methods in combination with an air conditioning system, it can assist you to reduce your overall energy consumption
  • Saves money on electricity bills, air conditioning usage, and air conditioning maintenance and installation
  • Promotes short and long-term sustainability by benefiting the environment and balancing out the energy usages in the area, especially during peak times

Challenges of natural cooling:

  • Requires thought, planning, and foresight to achieve properly
  • When designing a house there may be extra initial costs involved
  • Limitations may exist when dealing with an existing property in terms of the property’s orientation and design
  • There may be added expenses needed to turn your house into one that cools naturally, for example: investing in better blinds or installing insulation

Short term gain versus long-term solutions

Natural cooling is easy to achieve but it does take patience and a multi-step approach. When it comes to deciding if natural cooling is the route for you, it’s helpful to think of it as a long-term solution. While using unnatural methods such as air conditioning to cool your home may give immediate relief from the heat, adopting the natural cooling methodology is a longer-term solution.

Natural cooling may take longer to achieve properly, but once you reach your desired level of coolness, it is likely you’ll be able to sustain it. With time, and the right planning and design, any house can be equipped to maximise the cool, so you and your family can be comfortable this summer and all year long.

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