energy efficient home with natural coolingThe seasons are heading into fall.  It gets cool at night, but the temperature still climbs to plenty warm during the day.  Here in Helena, Montana, we’re dropping down to the low 40s and upper 30s in the evenings and climbing up to the upper 70 and sometimes even the upper 80s!  So you start out needing the heater in the morning, and wanting to run the air conditioner in the afternoon. The best way to contend with this heat of the day is with natural cooling measures.

Mother Earth News has recently put out an article on strategies to “beat the heat”.  As we have mentioned in our book Your Home Cooling Energy Guide, there are a variety of ways to go about this.

  • Natural Ventilation – open your windows when it’s cool and get that cool air into the house.  Then close them when the temperature is within a few degrees of both the inside and outside.  That will help keep your house cooler during the heat of the day.
  • Limit Solar Gain – solar gain is when the sun’s rays heat your home up to less-than-comfortable levels.  This is mainly done through the windows of your home.  Provide shades or screens for the windows, plant shade trees, and take steps to make sure you have a cool roof that reflects the sun’s heat rather than attracting and absorbing it.
  • Fans for Cooling – using fans to move the air in your home is much more energy efficient than running the A/C.  Ceiling fans and other electric fans help keep the air moving.  When you are in the area where a fan is, you feel cooler!

Natural Cooling Saves Energy

By simply using the natural air circulation; moving cool morning air into your house early, and keeping the cool air in there during the hot time of the day, you can significantly reduce the amount of energy you use.  Natural vegetation also plays a role by providing shading, from trees, and natural cooling from bushes, shrubs, and grass.  This reduces the amount of heat absorbed into the areas around the house and thus the amount of radiant heat released to the house.

Learn More Ways to Cool Off

In our home cooling guide, we explain the basics of cooling principles, we inform you how to cut down on heat gain, we explain the various ways to ventilate, and if you really must have an air conditioner, we provide a detailed section on choosing, installing and maintaining an air conditioning system that works for your home.
You can also read the entirety of the Mother Earth News post, by reading their article called “Natural Cooling Strategies“.