10 Natural Ventilation Ideas for Your Home

Natural ventilation is one of the most effective and practical ways to accomplish green-living and sustainability, even if you live in an urban environment. Natural ventilation is a method where you draw in cool, fresh air from the outdoors into your home without using your air conditioning system.

Below are 10 methods of using natural ventilation for your home.

1) Plants
Since people often spend a lot of time inside their home, their top concern and priority should be healthy air quality. If you know anything about plants, you know they release oxygen through photosynthesis.

However, there are also some types of plants that actually work like a built-in-air filtering system as well. In fact, according to a NASA study in 1989, a few common household plants could actually eliminate carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene.

Take the Boston Fern, for example. A 2010 American Society of Horticultural Science study found these ferns were able to clean the air of formaldehyde more than any other types of plants.

2) Ground Coverings
Cover surrounding grounds and pavements with low heat-absorbing materials or grass. When using grass, for instance, the ground retains extremely minimal heat, which helps direct cool air into your home.

3) Undercut Doors
These create a flow underneath the door without you opening up the room.

4) Whole House Fan
Cool your home, attic or workspace more cost-effectively than if you use your AC unit by using a whole house fan. These days, whole house fans are quiet, and are a cooling powerhouse that pushes the hot air from your home quickly and draws in the natural cool air without noise or vibration. It’s an energy efficient, environmentally friendly alternative to air conditioning.

5) Door and Window Screens
Since they keep the bugs out of your home, you’re more likely to open your windows and doors to let the fresh air in.

6) Attic Vents
When spaced attic vents are properly sized, they help release the hot air from your home efficiently. Use these in conjunction with an attic fan.

7) Transitional Spaces
Incorporate balconies, atriums, courts and other open spaces to enable more air flow.

8) Window Orientation
You should place your windows on the south and north areas of your home for optimal cross-ventilation. By doing this, you’re encouraging a natural breeze that will draw in a fresh, cool air flow into your home, particularly great in the summer months.

9) Clerestories
These don’t just provide you natural illumination, they also improve air movement. Because hot air moves upward, the clerestory acts like a vent and space for the accumulation of hot air.

10) Solar Chimney
Create a solar chimney where the sun will heat the air and the air will rise up to the top of your building and out through the vents. This will lower the pressure in your home and draws in fresh, cool air through inlet ports you have specially placed.