If you’re lucky, you live in a region that experiences mild summer temperatures so that you don’t have to trade your firstborn child to cover the costs of air conditioning. But even if you happen to live in an area that features extreme summer temperatures, you may have options for natural ventilation that can help to cool your home. Although you might not be able to give up the AC completely, especially if you live in a desert or tropical climate where temperatures reach the triple digits, you can definitely find ways to capitalize on the cooler hours of the day, increasing ventilation and air flow in order to keep your interior air fresh, healthy, and cool. Here are some natural ventilation options you might want to consider.
Perhaps the easiest option is to simply start by opening windows in your home. You might not want to do this during the hottest part of the day, but when temperatures begin to drop in the evening hours, there’s no reason not to turn off the AC and open your windows. Of course, this is really only useful if you have some factors working for you. For example, unless you want the hot air to seep in and settle, you must have cross-ventilation that pushes the hot air out and sends a cool breeze through your home, and this air flow can be achieved by a number of means.
Opening windows on either end of your home could be enough in some cases, especially if the windows are oriented to catch whatever breezes come through your area. What may also help is if you have features like skylights or an atrium that can be opened to help promote air flow and vent hot air up and out of the house. When you open windows in the evening and close them in the morning, you may be able to go without AC for most of the day. And ceiling fans can help, as well. If you set them to push air down during the day you’ll benefit from the cooler air up above washing down over your skin. And when you flip the switch at night, they’ll draw warm air up, increasing circulation once you’ve opened the windows.
But architectural and landscaping features in and around your home can also improve home ventilation without the use of AC. When you place architectural louvers or awnings over windows and doors, they can not only shade your windows, decreasing the ingress of the sun’s heat-producing rays, but they can also help to direct air flow inside. And the way you arrange your landscaping can also make a difference, starting with planting trees for shade.
You’ll find that the more foliage you have around your home, as opposed to cement, patio pavers, and other hard surfaces, the more cool air you’ll enjoy, thanks to the fact that flora and fauna absorb less heat. You could even consider installing earth mounds to funnel breezes toward your home. There are plenty of natural ways to cool your home. And while they might not provide the same potency as air conditioning, they can help you to cut back on AC usage at the very least, reducing utility bills and cutting your carbon footprint in the process.