DIY





Forget AC: Cool Your Home Naturally

Cool your home naturally. There are numerous ways to reduce home cooling costs, such as ceiling fans, natural ventilation, minimizing heat gain, weather sealing, insulating, window shading and glazing, roof lightening and landscaping.

| August/September 2007

  • The turbine ventilator on top of this cupola uses natural wind power to pull warm air up and out of the building.
    The turbine ventilator on top of this cupola uses natural wind power to pull warm air up and out of the building.
    Photo by Image 45
  • This cupola allows warm air to escape and draws cool air in through lower windows.
    This cupola allows warm air to escape and draws cool air in through lower windows. 
    Photo by Kelly Lerner
  • Landscaping, such as trees and shrubs, can help funnel precooled air into open windows.
    Landscaping, such as trees and shrubs, can help funnel precooled air into open windows.
    Diagram by Oliver Rollin
  • Wind catchers, such as this four-sided model, capture cooler air from above the roofline and scoop the breeze down into the home.
    Wind catchers, such as this four-sided model, capture cooler air from above the roofline and scoop the breeze down into the home.
    Diagram by Oliver Rollin
  • The chimney effect pulls warm air up and out of the home as it pulls cooler air inside. South-facing glass on the chimney increases the difference in air temperature from top to bottom and enhances ai
    The chimney effect pulls warm air up and out of the home as it pulls cooler air inside. South-facing glass on the chimney increases the difference in air temperature from top to bottom and enhances airflow.
    Diagram by Oliver Rollin
  • A house with low and high air outlets achieves the best air flow.
    A house with low and high air outlets achieves the best air flow.
    Diagram by Oliver Rollin

  • The turbine ventilator on top of this cupola uses natural wind power to pull warm air up and out of the building.
  • This cupola allows warm air to escape and draws cool air in through lower windows.
  • Landscaping, such as trees and shrubs, can help funnel precooled air into open windows.
  • Wind catchers, such as this four-sided model, capture cooler air from above the roofline and scoop the breeze down into the home.
  • The chimney effect pulls warm air up and out of the home as it pulls cooler air inside. South-facing glass on the chimney increases the difference in air temperature from top to bottom and enhances ai
  • A house with low and high air outlets achieves the best air flow.

Slash (or eliminate) your air conditioning bills, cool your home naturally with these simple tips and remodeling recommendations.

Forget AC: Cool Your Home Naturally

Space cooling and heating can account for up to 45 percent of your total home energy use every year, but there are numerous strategies you can employ to reduce cooling costs. For instance, a ceiling fan used in conjunction with air conditioning lets you raise the thermostat by as much as 4 degrees while maintaining the same comfort level in a room. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that each degree below 78 degrees on your thermostat will increase your air conditioning bill by 8 percent. You also can use natural ventilation to capture and create breezes, or to help you take advantage of nighttime drops in temperature.

Other money-saving ideas include minimizing heat gain, weather sealing, insulating, window shading and glazing, roof lightening and landscaping (see “Best Bets for Passive Cooling”). Because natural ventilation is one of the most cost-effective ways to cool your home, we’ll examine it here in greater detail.

Natural Home Ventilation

Natural ventilation makes the most of air motion to cool you and your home. This is the primary passive cooling strategy in all climate zones, but the nuances of its application vary by region. Understanding seasonal wind patterns will help you adjust your window openings, outdoor spaces and windbreaks to increase your comfort without relying on nonrenewable fuels.



Take some time to think about the breezes and winds around your home:

• At what time of day and year are the winds strongest?

John Large
3/16/2015 6:57:13 PM

Hello, I seen some of these other comments about whole house fans, I believe this is one of the best ways to cool your home and a low cost versus running air conditioning. Whole house fans use natural cooling to bring temps inside home down drastically, quicker, cheaper and efficiently. Please visit www.CoolNaturally.com for more info. Please feel free to ask questions. Thank you


rainie.flores.7
5/12/2013 10:50:21 PM

I live in a tropical country and you can just imagine the heat during summer. It is unbearable and we simply can't keep the AC unit running all day long. That's why during summer, we do some repairs to try to keep the house cool and now, we have a whole house fan to help keep us cool and reduce our electic bill.

- http://www.atticfan.com/

 

 


Jean Ockert_1
7/25/2010 2:47:21 PM

Roof turbines are a total waste of money. I wish somebody would stop these rocket scientists from promoting them as a good investment. Considering that it takes force (wind) to turn the turbine, it takes more FORCED AIR to turn it in order to pull out a little PASSIVE AIR. This PASSIVE AIR moving out is always less than the FORCED AIR entering to power the turbine. To make matters even worse, much of the exiting air is from the air stream that just entered. A turbine is most effective when it is standing still (no wind), allowing rising hot air to exit and thereby pulling cooler air into the attic through the eaves and/or gable vents. Also, turbines break down after some time, prompting additional (wasted) expenditure. For passive ventilation, the best money is spent on installing a continuous ridge vent.







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