We all love the summer months, but we all despise paying higher energy bills. We tend to rely heavily on our air conditioning units during the hot and humid days of summer, rather than looking for alternatives that can keep us just as comfortable. As much as we love our air conditioners, no one really wants to keep their windows closed all summer, do we?
Enter “passive cooling”.
Passive cooling is a building design approach that focuses on heat gain control and heat dissipation in a building in order to improve the indoor thermal comfort with low or nil energy consumption. In layman’s terms, passive cooling helps to minimize energy usage while staying nice and cool.
According to Rocky Mountain Institute, passive cooling measures can reduce energy bills by up to 40 percent. In addition to natural ventilation, the most effective cooling strategies, in order of increasing cost, are:
• Minimization of indoor heat generation: Using energy-efficient light bulbs, reducing hot water use, using smaller and more efficient appliances and scheduling heat-producing tasks (such as clothes drying) for cooler hours of the day.
• Weatherization: Caulking, sealing and weatherstripping all building envelope seams, cracks and openings reduces heating and cooling energy requirements.
• Insulation: Insulating your home or installing heat-reflecting foil reduces heat conduction into your living space.
• Window shading and glazing: Solar radiation passing through windows can contribute 20 percent to heat gain in hot, humid climates. Window shading devices and glazing technology minimize heat gain while transmitting daylight, which reduces electrical lighting needs.
• Roof whitening and attic ventilation: These are two effective measures to reduce heat gain by either reflecting heat away from the roof or flushing heat out through the attic.
• Trees and landscaping: Planting broad, leafy shade trees that block the sun will reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the house
Passive cooling is just one way to reduce your energy bills in the summer time. You can find another great article from hometips.com to help keep your home cool and keep those bills down…HERE!
(Editor’s Note: Tuesday Tips are merely suggestions. Be cautious as home improvement is not for everyone. Results may vary.)