Here in Northern Indiana and Michigan, we’re fortunate enough to have warm days and cooler nights in the fall. This makes our area ideal for natural ventilation. Many homeowners save significant amounts of money on energy bills by taking advantage of natural ventilation. It is the least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool buildings. So what is natural ventilation and how can you take advantage of it? The comfort pros at Home Comfort Experts break it down for you below:
The Chimney Effect
Natural ventilation relies on the wind and the “chimney effect” to keep a home cool. The wind will enter or leave your home through windows, depending on their orientation to the wind. On the facing side, where your windows face the wind, air is forced into your windows when the wind blows against it. This creates a natural vacuum effect that draws air out of windows on the downwind side. The chimney effect relies on convection which occurs when cool air enters a home on the first floor or basement, absorbs heat in the room, rises, and leaves the house through windows located upstairs. This air movement creates a partial vacuum, which pulls more air in through lower-level windows and the cycle continues. The chimney effect works best in open-air designs with high ceilings and windows located near the top of the house, or skylights that open.
Related Read: Think a Bigger Air Conditioner Is Better? Think Again.
Avoid Heat Buildup in Your Home
Ventilation works best when you take steps to prevent heat buildup in your home. In some cases, natural ventilation will suffice for cooling, although it usually needs to be supplemented with ceiling fans, and window fans. If you have a larger home, you might want to get a whole house or attic fan to help suck air through the entire home. Some other ways to avoid heat buildup include:
● Insulate Your Home
● Keep Your Home Sealed Up on Hot Days
● Install Window Shades and Window Treatments
● Avoid Using the Oven
● If You Use Your Oven, Use the Vent in the Hood
● When You Shower or Bathe, Use the Fan in the Bathroom
● Don’t Use Hair Dryers, Curling Irons, etc.
● Run the Dishwasher/Dryer in the Evenings Not the Heat of the Day
● If You Replace Your Roof, Go with a Light Colored Material
● Plant Trees to Shade Your Home
Natural ventilation can help you save money when temperatures are temperate. When there is not a big difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, try using natural ventilation.