If you are building the house of your dreams then make sure you consult your designer about how to provide natural air conditioning to your house instead of investing in a mechanical air conditioner. If you design your home the right way then it can completely eliminate the need to use an air conditioner. Green design principles and an architect having a proper insight into green designs can help you with this.
The site where your house is situated is very important in facilitating natural conditioning. This is a very vital part of green designing. The sun angles and the angles of natural winds should be considered when you are placing your house.
2. Cross ventilation
To ensure that there is cross ventilation in all the living spaces, you need to have operable windows set as far as possible. Natural air conditioning depends on cross ventilation at large.
Windows play a major role when you are trying to cool your home naturally. High wall windows and clerestory windows really help in achieving this. A ‘chimney effect’ is created when the clerestory windows are made operable. Simple science works in this regard when low and high windows are kept open at the same time. Cool air enters through the low windows and hot air escapes through the clerestory ones. A constant circulation of air is created in the house.
Your architect should make sure that he places the majority of glass on the north and south walls limiting the amount of glass on the east and west walls. When the sun is at a low angle in the mornings and evenings, this reduces the solar heat gain from the east and the west.
Your designer can also consider designing large overhangs. These overhangs will help to shade your walls and glasses from solar heat gain and thus will result in natural conditioning.
Insulation of walls and ceilings plays a vital role in helping natural air conditioning. Super insulate walls and ceilings are thus the best possible options. You can invest in spray-on foams. These soy-based foams seal all the cracks and are also environment friendly.
Ridge vents, soffit vents and gable vents help to ventilate your attic space and cathedral ceilings. This will help in cooling your attic area. Proper ventilation can actually reduce the heat in your house to large extents.
8. Roofing material
Reflective or light colored roofing material helps to reflect back the rays of the sun. Albedo is the term which refers to the amount of reflectivity. You should aim for 29 and this will show the rating of your performance.
9. Other materials
Driveways, porch lights and walks should always be of light colors. The paving materials should not use any asphalt paving. Color is very important here as cool air will become hot if they travel over dark materials which has accumulated heat. Make sure the air that travels into your house doesn’t travel over dark materials as that will make your house warm.
Plant landscape borders around the walls of your house as landscape is known to soak up heat. This keeps the heat away from your house.
You can also try other methods to achieve natural air conditioning. You can install ceiling fans in all the living spaces where you spend time. Make sure that the ceiling fans are energy star rated. You can also install low E 4 window glass in all the windows. Use more cooler and efficient light sources over incandescent light sources. This will help reduce the amount of heat in your house. CFLs or LEDs can be used. These are more expensive than the rest but will benefit you in the long run. Also make sure that your home is at an angle of 45 degrees to the prevailing wind as this will help in cross ventilation.