Supplement Your A/C with Natural Ventilation
Are you running your air conditioner 24/7 during the summer? Take advantage of the cooler summer air here in the Pacific Northwest to save money on utility bills and conserve energy. Natural ventilation is the solution to a cooler home during the summer.
Natural ventilation is the process of airing out and cooling down your home by using wind, the “chimney effect,” and other techniques. Read on to find out about the different ways to naturally ventilate your home.
1. Windows and Wind
The simplest way to naturally ventilate your home is to open the windows when it’s cool outdoors. Successful natural ventilation will depend on your home’s orientation and where the wind is coming from. Windows oriented in the north and south often provide the most optimal cross-ventilation. Wind blowing against a home forces air into the windows on whichever side is facing into the wind. A natural vacuum is created to draw air out of windows on the opposite, or downward, side.
2. The Chimney Effect
The chimney effect utilizes the principle of convection – or hot air rising. This effect occurs when cool air enters a home on the first floor or basement level, absorbs heat and rises to exit through upper level or upstairs windows. The chimney effect works best in homes with open-air designs and with windows located near the top of the house or skylights.
Natural ventilation can actually be enhanced through a variety of landscaping techniques. Replacing pavement with natural ground coverings, like grass, can reduce the amount of heat retained in the ground surrounding your home. In turn, the air directed into your home is cooler. Adding earth mounds, which mimic insect mounds, to your yard have been proven to aid in air circulation around your home.
4. Water Features
Water features, like fountains or pools, cool the air naturally. Adding a simple water feature near doors or windows can help cool air before it passes through into the interior of your home.
5. Wicker or Bamboo Furnishings
Wicker and bamboo encourage air flow, due to their construction and material. Furnishings made from these natural elements have low heat retention and are great for both outdoor and indoor uses.
When the weather gets too hot to naturally ventilate your home, Columbia Heating and Cooling is here to help make sure your air conditioner is working efficiently and effectively. Give us a call today for a FREE replacement quote for your HVAC system!