Cool your home naturally with passive design

Save money on your electricity bill this summer by implementing some passive design features that will not only keep your house cool but will also reduce your heating bills when winter comes around again.

Even if you have an established house, you can still incorporate some passive design features that will keep your home much cooler without you having to constantly rely on running your air conditioning.

Here are some ideas that you might want to consider.

Add more insulation

Increasing the amount of insulation in your ceiling will help to keep your home cooler. A well-insulated and ventilated ceiling will create a buffer zone between the inside of your home and the hot air outside.

If your ceiling is well-insulated, you will be able to rely less on your air conditioning, especially if you have ceiling fans installed in the main areas of your home.

Studies have shown that it’s possible to reduce your reliance on air conditioning by up to 75% when you have ceiling fans installed. Ceiling fans are much more adept at moving the air around your home.

Upgrade your windows

Consider upgrading your windows to double-glazed ones. This provides a double layer of insulation to keep the hot air out and the cool air in.

While double-glazed windows are just a little more costly, they’re well worth the investment if they help to save you money on your electricity bill. Plus, they’ll add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

If you’re installing new windows, try to ensure that they’re full height and have secure flyscreens attached. This means that you can leave them open at night to let the cool air in and hot air flow out.

Provide cross ventilation

Cross ventilation is all about letting the cool nighttime air in while pushing the warm air inside your home out. This is the perfect way to cool your home quickly.

This is due to the natural air exchange or the rule of convection because while hot air rises, cool air is naturally drawn down.

For adequate cross ventilation, you need windows on either side of the rooms in your home that you can open in the evening. This allows the natural flow of air through your home with the cool air being drawn in and the warm air being pushed out.

Make sure that you have security flyscreens attached to these and leave them open all night.

Shade your windows from the sun

To stop the hot sun blazing into your home, fit your west-facing windows with outdoor blinds or shutters. Pull down the blinds in the afternoon to shade the windows of your home. This will keep the inside much cooler. External, remote-controlled blinds can block out the light and heat without affecting your view, making them a great choice for west-facing rooms.

Plant deciduous trees or large shrubs

It’s no secret that trees and large shrubs are very adept at keeping the surrounding area cooler. A walk through a rainforest will confirm this.

Why not take advantage of this by planting deciduous trees and shrubs around your home, especially on the western side? These trees will shade your home from the scorching afternoon sun but when their leaves drop in autumn, the winter sun can shine through your windows to provide some extra light and warmth.

Think about engaging an architect to help with the passive design of your home

If you’re a little unsure of how you can enjoy some passive cooling in your current home, why not engage an architect who is well-versed in sustainable design and the science of passive cooling and heating?

An architect can look at the current structure and layout of your home and give you some suggestions on how a few design changes can make all the difference, and their keen eye can improve your home’s performance and appearance, which is great news when it comes time to sell, too.

Thinking of selling in 2024?

Are you considering selling your home this year or looking for a new home on the Northern Beaches? Why not give us a call to discuss your needs? We’re always happy to assist in any way we can.

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