Eco-Friendly, Natural Cooling Techniques for Your Home

Author Ken Kern writes about eco-friendly ways to use natural cooling techniques to cool your home in summer.

| July/August 1971

Ken Kern, author of The Owner-Built Home and The Owner-Built Homestead, is an amazing fellow and everyone interested in decentralist, back-to-the-land, rational living should know of his work. Back in 1948 he began collecting information on low-cost, simple and natural construction materials and techniques. He combed the world for ideas, tried them and started writing about his experiments.

Since 1952 refrigerant air-cooling has come into its own in this country. This was the year that mass-produced home air conditioning units suddenly appeared on the market. The 20 companies sold 250 million dollars worth of equipment and were forced to turn down 100,000 customers. Now there are over 70 companies producing air conditioning units, with an increase in output of 500%. Loaning agency figures indicate that 40% of new homes have included some form of central air conditioner. We hear more and more about Heat Pumps, Combination-unit Air Conditioners, Dehumidifiers, Package-split-system Units, and Evaporative Coolers.

Costs run high for all this air-conditioned comfort. In a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders it was found that the cost of installing an average-sized air-conditioner in an average-sized house came to $1308. The operating expenses exceed $70 per summer season. And the Heat Pump, avowed king of year-round air-conditioners, costs from $2500 up to install.

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