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Cooling your house without air conditioning

Discover our tips for a cool summer without air conditioning!

When temperatures rise, it is tempting to turn to air conditioning systems. However, these equipments are real global warming accelerators. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, by 2050, about two-thirds of the world’s households could have an air conditioner. The growing use of these appliances worldwide will be one of top drivers of the global demand for electricity over the next three decades. It is becoming urgent to rethink our homes and opt for alternatives.

  • Adopt the right reflexes

To avoid the heat from entering the room, close the windows, shutters and curtains during the day. When the temperature drops in the evening, you can air out the room and encourage draughts to evacuate the accumulated hot air.

  • Reduce the use of appliances 

Appliances, even on standby, consume electricity and contribute to the heating of the room. Therefore, avoid using the oven and unplug as many appliances as possible, such as telephone chargers or televisions. Also remember to regularly dust your equipment to limit overheating.

  • Increase the humidity level

Humidifying the room will help cool it down. To do this, place a damp cloth in front of the window and dampen it regularly. You can also mop the floor or use a water spray.

  • Count on green plants

In addition to adding a decorative touch to your home, green plants help humidify the air in the room, thanks to the phenomenon of evapotranspiration. The ficus and the palm tree are among the most suitable varieties for cooling. For an assured freshness effect, the ideal is to grow climbing plants on the facade.

  • Change your light bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs tend to produce heat. It is recommended to opt for LED light bulbs, an energy saving bulbs, which in addition to producing very little heat, will reduce your electricity bill.

Passive house: the solution for thermal comfort all year round!

What if the solution was to take into account the ambient temperatures from the conception of your house? One of the construction principles of passive houses is to ensure all year round comfort for its occupants. The main challenge of passive houses in Portugal will be to maintain an indoor temperature low enough to not exceed 25ºC more than 37 days per year (10%). To achieve this, passive houses incorporate the following techniques:

    • Minimization of windows to the west.
    • Integration of roof overhangs and/or shading devices if needed (sunshades and adjustable shutters).
    • Taking into account the benefits of the surrounding vegetation (planting of deciduous trees).
    • Opposite openings to promote natural ventilation.
    • Efficient insulation to avoid that cold areas received external heat.
    • Controlled mechanical ventilation system (CMV) with by-pass, to maintain a constant supply of fresh air in the house and avoid that the exhaust air transfers additional heat to the incoming air.

If passive techniques are not sufficient, an air conditioning system can be considered. Note that this solution is only necessary in countries where the air temperature regularly exceeds 25ºC, where the humidity is around 12g of water per kg of air, and where the soil temperature is around 27ºC.

Would you like to know more about passive construction in Portugal? Download for free our white paper!

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