Using Nature to Cool Your Home

Warmer weather is officially here, which means trying our best to stay cool inside and outside the home. A common way people stay cool inside the home is by blasting their air conditioning, but AC is hard on your wallet and on the environment.

Did you know that on hot summer days AC uses 43% of the US power load and heating and cooling systems release more than half a billion tons of carbon dioxide every year? So if you’re  concerned about a high electricity bill, it may be time to think of alternatives or supplements to the AC for the sake of the environment.

Luckily, air conditioning is not the only effective method to cool your home. There are many ways that you can use nature, airflow, and plants to cool down your home. Below, we will discuss the best ways to use nature to cool your home.

1) Shade with landscaping
Shading your home with thoughtful landscaping is a great way to keep your home cool during the summer months.

Trees placed to the South and West of your home will significantly cool it during the summer. Plus, if you use deciduous trees, your home will be cooler in the summer and still receive sun in the winter.

Shrubs planted close to your home can keep the lower part of your home protected from the sun. Also, during the winter they can function as a windbreak against cold winter air.

Vines can be planted on the Southside of your home to further guard it against the sun. You can use an arbor, trellises, or just pots to get your vines going.

2) Use curtains and blinds
Light-colored curtains and drapes are effective at reflecting sunlight out of your home and keeping your home cool. If you face the more reflective side of the blinds outside, they will also help to reduce the indoor temperature. Of course, blackout curtains can also keep the light out.

3) Take advantage of solar screens 
Sunscreens, also called shade screens or solar screens can be installed on the outside of a window to reflect sunlight away from your home.

4) Scatter Indoor plants around
Plants absorb hot air through respiration. So keeping house plants, including vines, around will reduce the indoor temperature of your home. Plus, certain indoor plants can make the air cleaner.

5) Use alternatives to high-powered appliances
High-powered appliances generate a lot of heat. Examples include ovens, stoves, dishwashers, washers, and driers. Try to avoid using them as much as you can to reduce heat in your home. Instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, try hanging them outside on a line. And instead of using your dishwasher, hand wash and air dry them.

5) Open your windows at night
When it’s cooler at night, open your windows. This removes any hot air from your home and provides a thermal mass cooling effect, cooling down any parts of your home that absorbed heat during the day. And, by opening windows at night in conjunction with using a whole house fan, you can not only cool your home, but save on air conditioning costs.