5 Best Ways to Achieve Natural Ventilation at Home. A great ventilated home simply means having better indoor air quality. However, it’s not only about opening up your windows on pleasant days. It holds a vast range of actions you can do to make sure that air entering into your home is not confined from contaminants, irritants, and pollutants.
One of the best functional and efficient ways to achieve sustainability and green-living, even in an urban environment, is by natural ventilation. Natural ventilation doesn’t only qualify as a better choice for the environment than artificial cooling like air conditioners, it’s also free! Natural ventilation is the process of using outside air movement and pressure differences to refresh and ventilate a house.
A home that’s well-ventilated every day makes your family stay healthy, thinks and feels better, can have a good rest and more energy. If you want to achieve those things, here are top ways to improve your natural ventilation in your home and lessen the demand to turn on your air conditioner when it gets hot.
What is Natural Ventilation?
In easier terms, it’s a technique of letting fresh outdoor air into living spaces without the use of air conditioning units and other means of mechanically operated machines. A term correlated with natural ventilation is “passive cooling”, which alludes to designs that do not use complex or advanced mechanical equipment to create comfortable conditions in a building interior.
#1 Windows and doors are oriented based on climate and site
For new home builders, a house should also be built on a site that takes advantage of existing breezes that diversify depending on the place, time of day, weather condition, and landscape. For instance, in the hilly and mountainous regions, breezes normally travel downslope; in coastal regions move from an onshore direction, and several maritime regions may have extremely strong winds.
Cool breezes usually tend to happen in the late afternoon or early evening. Planting outside and installing fences can help direct breezes through a window or door, along with filtering stronger winds.
#2 Assess the airflow and your home
Try to look at your house and examine how air moves through it. If you can come up with basic observations on your own, then do it. However, if you’re not that sure, you may want to ask professional help for technical assessment. Here are some important things to consider:
- What type of windows does your house have: double-hung, casements or fixed?
- Are there any other ventilation openings (exhaust fans, vents, turbine ventilators, a cupola)?
- Do you have operable windows or other vents on opposite ends of your house? Are they high and some low?
- Are you able to open enough windows to give nice ventilation in hot weather?
- Is your landscaping capable of channeling breezes to your home in summer? Does it protect you also from cold winter winds?
- Do you notice any cracks in your house’s enclosure that allow cold air in winter or hot air in summer?
- Are your ceilings are high enough? Do they permit warm air to collect high in the room which can be great in summer but a headache in winter?
- Are your vents or fans exhaust unwanted air effectively? Including unpleasant smells and excess moisture?
- Are there “dead air” in your house even with windows open?
#3 Place openings for cross ventilation
Although we assume that wind blows through a building, it’s actually sucked towards areas of lower air pressure. You must position openings to draw breezes through. How? You must position opening on at least two sides of a room, on either opposite or adjacent walls, for cross ventilation.
You have to take note that there must be multiple wind-flow paths through a room or house. For cooling breeze to enter, have narrow or open-plan layouts. Although internal windows can help in deeper plans, you still need cross ventilation.
#4 Utilize convectively ventilation
Also called as stack ventilation, this method uses temperature variations to move air. Warm air is very floatable so it rises to escape through higher openings, gravitating cooler air in from lower openings as it does so. For a convective air movement and enhancement of cross ventilation, you can explore roof ventilators, clerestory windows, operable skylights, and vented ridges.
#5 Don’t waste the cool night air
Normally, houses cool at night time when hot air diffuses from a building is replaced with the cooler night air. You can leave windows open at night which will help remove warm air to ventilate interior spaces for the following day. You can try double-hung windows and clerestory windows. Which are perfect to get cool air since the hot air escapes through higher-level openings.