Instead of using power-hungry air conditioners, you can take advantage of natural ventilation to cool your home. It’s called passive cooling, and a lot of homeowners want to implement this sustainable feature in their humble abode. Passive cooling ensures your comfort in a way that it’s good for the environment and your wallet
In this method, you allow the wind and the breeze to cool your home. As a result, you will not need your auxiliary cooling systems running 24/7, especially during the steamy summer months. Not using the air conditioner for longer periods of time can drastically cut the cost of your power bills.
Here’s how you can cool your home, in a natural way:
Open the house to nature
Looking back at the diagram of natural ventilation, you’ll notice that your home needs to have strategic openings to allow natural air flow. I’m talking about putting your windows and doors in the right places so fresh air can come and push the stale air out.
One of the most popular types of windows used in passive cooling in Australia are the clerestory windows. It’s a vent—an exit for warm air. This type of window is great if you have high ceilings. Once, our Perth architects installed smart clerestory windows which automatically closes upon detecting rain.
You will most likely need the help of an architect on this one. If the design professional you’re looking to hire has experience in green, sustainable design, the better.
Turn on the mechanical fan
A mechanical fan, whether a table fan, box fan, floor fan, or ceiling fan, helps air move inside your home. It hauls away the warm air and pulls in the cooler air. Not to mention, this cools you down for a fraction of what you spend on air conditioners.
Mechanical fans come in various design, styles, and colours so you have a lot of items to choose from. It won’t be hard to find something that fits your interiors.
Install window treatments that permit air circulation
Your windows are the main entry and exit points of air, therefore the window treatments you use must permit air circulation.
One of them is louvres or jalousies. When it rains, angle the blades down to keep the water out and the cool wind in. It also collects a lot of dust from the wind so clean them regularly.
The louvres come in three looks: transparent glass, frosted glass, and wooden louvres. Transparent jalousies are almost invisible when fully open. If you need a little privacy, go for the frosted glass. Wooden louvres give your home an earthy vibe and are great for blocking intense sunlight.
Next are the shutters. It’s one of the world's oldest window treatments.
When purchasing shutters for your windows, choose the one with bigger spaces between each slat. This design draws more air even if you close the shutters to block the sun.
Use screens in your outdoor spaces, windows, and doors
If you want to enjoy the outdoor air without the hassle of dealing with bugs and insects, use screens. Screening your windows and doors allow you to leave your windows open for the air to come in and keep the squadron of flies out.
You can also enclose your porch or verandah with insect screens so you have an airy and bug-free outdoor space. Install a ceiling for air to circulate. Place your favourite outdoor furniture right under it.
A wide variety of window screens is available on the market today. Each one has a special purpose. Go to your local hardware or home improvement store so you can check these screens for yourself.
Add water elements near a window or door
People love to live near bodies of water. The water can cool the air before it comes into your home. If you don’t live near a river, lake, or pond but you have a large garden space, make your own artificial pond. Work with a good landscape architect in this project. Make sure that it’s near one of your main doors and windows. To make it more sustainable, use reclaimed water on your pond. Keep the water running so it does not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Grow water plants and fishes in there too!