What is Passive Cooling?

Passive cooling is a form of natural air conditioning, so to speak. You can take advantage of clever passive cooling techniques to reduce the internal and external heat gains of your home without having to turn to a mechanical air conditioner.

Similar to passive solar heating, when taking advantage of passive cooling, you may have to use your AC from time to time. However, the goal is to lower your need for mechanical ventilation and cooling systems and the electricity it takes to run them.

By lowering your needs for these cooling systems, you can increase your energy independence, lower your energy bills, and significantly reduce your impact on the environment. Below are just some ways you can implement passive cooling to save money and the environment.

Shading Structures
When you have unshaded windows, you are letting in around half the heat gain in your home. The heat gain from a sunny day from a 100 sq. ft. east-west facing window equals around several hours of furnace use. You can use overhangs to shade south-facing windows and block out the hot summer sun, but allow the lower winter sun to flow in and provide you with passive solar heating. External shading sources like external shades, trellis and trees work well for east-west exposures.

Whole House Fan
During cool nights in drier climates, you can use a whole house fan to cool your home while reducing or completely eliminating your need for air conditioning. The whole house fan is easy to use and energy efficient. The whole house fan draws in the cool outdoor air through your home’s open windows and exhausts the hot indoor air to the outside through your attic.

Reflectors
Increase solar heat gain during the winter with seasonally movable reflectors. Reflectors also help to reduce heat gain during the summer.

Solar Chimneys
Solar chimneys provide homeowners with a way of improving their home’s ventilation naturally. The chimney is a vertical shaft that’s typically painted black to absorb the solar energy. Solar energy heats the chimney and enclosed air during the day creating an updraft in the chimney. The chimney’s bottom suction helps ventilate your home.

Energy-efficiency and lower costs make passive cooling methods worthwhile. You can lower much of your home cooling costs significantly with passive cooling methods that don’t require costly professional installs or retrofits. Not to mention you’re saving the environment with these eco-friendly passive cooling alternatives while you stay cool in your home.

Call us today at 1.888.229.5757 for free expert advice on whole house fans. Whole House Fan (WholeHouseFan.com) has been supplying homeowners and contractors across the United States and Canada with whole house fans since 2001.

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