How to cool homes off naturally without turning on the air conditioner
The global temperature is increasing. Additionally, a scorching heatwave is sweeping the Mediterranean, pushing temperatures beyond 40°C in portions of Italy, Spain, France, and Greece.
The effects of extreme heat in the future will go beyond geographical areas that are typically warm. In fact, according to our most recent research, northern countries like the UK, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland will experience the largest proportional increase in uncomfortable hot days if the global temperature rises by 1.5°C to 2°C.
People look for strategies to cool down their homes when the weather is very hot. When temperatures rise, air conditioners frequently end up being the go-to choice since they offer quick and efficient relief from the sweltering heat.
But a lot of energy is used by air conditioners. Many also employ fluorinated chemicals as refrigerants, which have a high potential to cause global warming when they leak.
Future air conditioner usage that is not limited will raise emissions and contribute to increasing global warming. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the suggested actions to keep your home cool in the face of rising temperatures without further harming the environment.
obstruct the sun
By erecting a shield between a building and the sun’s beams, heat can be prevented from entering the structure. This can be done in a variety of ways, from external window shutters and awnings to reflecting and ventilated roofs.
Using external window shutters can save cooling needs (the thermal energy needed to keep people comfortable) by up to 14%, according to research one of us worked on in Spain.
The interior temperature can be lowered by doing something as simple as painting your roof a light color. This strategy can cut cooling needs by more than 7% by reflecting the sun’s energy, according to research in Pakistan’s extremely hot cities.
Utilizing the shade offered by tree canopies is another successful strategy. According to research conducted in Melbourne, Australia, trees that cast shade on buildings can reduce the surface temperature of walls by up to 9°C.
Make use of natural ventilation
Opening windows when the outside temperature drops is one efficient technique to cool down a poorly ventilated building. By doing this, warm air may depart and cooler air can enter.
But in order to further facilitate airflow, other features can be integrated into building design, such as ventilation chimneys and roof vents. These characteristics are frequently observed in hot, dry areas, especially in the Middle East. Wind catchers are towering, chimney-like constructions that were historically used by buildings in this area to capture cool prevailing winds and guide them inside residences. Cool nighttime ventilation can also help a building maintain its coolness throughout the day. cool homes
A fresh air can also “cross ventilate” a building, coming in via one opening and leaving through another on the opposite side. Incorporating inner courtyards, a design that has been utilized for ages in hotter areas to keep buildings cool, can help to promote this if necessary.
According to earlier studies, inner courtyards can cut down on the overall amount of time we need to take precautions to cool down (also known as indoor discomfort hours) by 26%.
cooling below the set temperature
Temperature alone does not determine how cool we feel. How comfortable we feel is also influenced by variables like humidity and air velocity.
Fans, whether mounted on the ceiling or freestanding, are useful in this situation.
It is feasible to increase the thermostat setting from 24°C to 27°C and still feel cool by using fans and air conditioning. This straightforward modification can save family cooling energy use by more than 20%.
Additionally, centralized air conditioning systems can result in overcooling us or even energy loss by cooling unoccupied spaces. However, we can combat this by combining more slack cooling controls, like turning up the thermostat, with individual cooling gadgets. Such desk fans, cooled seats, or wearable thermoelectric coolers. Without having to cool an entire room, these devices give users more control over their immediate cooling requirements.
When air conditioning is still necessary, opt for equipment with a high efficiency rating and low-GHP refrigerants. An indicator of a unit’s efficiency is called the energy efficiency ratio (ERR). You should choose a unit with an ERR that is close to or above four.
It’s crucial to take the entire heating and cooling requirements into account when developing or remodeling buildings. For instance, increasing ventilation in the summer can avoid overheating. While decreasing ventilation in the winter can assist cut down on the need for heating.
In order to minimize or lower the expense of building energy-intensive air conditioning systems. It is important to develop solutions that integrate well and are flexible. With this strategy, humans will be able to endure higher temperatures without further harming the environment for coming generations.
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