Here are two more passive cooling ideas for your home.
Tint Your Window
Windows let in sunlight and also allows heat into your home. Tinting those windows that get direct sunlight is a good way to limit heat getting into the house. Window tint is also useful even for indirect sunlight. At certain time of day, your neighbours house or surrounding buildings could reflect heat into your home. You can feel the heat and see the light even though it is not as hot or bright as direct sunlight, so tinting can make a difference in creating a cooler environment.
Good quality tinting should not make your home too dark. They block infrared and ultra violet (UV) light spectrum that but allows visible light into the home. By blocking sunlight, the temperature in your home is much lower. Note that during the day when it is hotter outside than inside, you’ll need to keep your windows closed. Otherwise, hot air from outside will come into your home and replace the cool air inside. Open the windows during the early part of morning or evening when the outside temperature is low.
Tinting is a relatively easy to install. To safe cost, you may want to install tint on certain windows only. For example, if your porch is long and already blocks sunlight, then you may choose to just tint the windows on the upper floor.
Another thing to take notice of is, at night when you switched on the interior lights, people on the outside can see you and your family inside. So don’t get rid of your curtains just because people cannot see you from the outside during the day.
Installing external blinds is another way to shield your home for passive cooling. If your house faces direct sunlight in the morning or the evening, you can consider using roll up blinds. These blinds are made of wood or bamboo. You probably have seen them used to see in front of older retails shops to shield the shop but did not consider using them for your house. Since wood and bamboo absorb very little heat compared to brick or concrete, they make a significant difference to the temperature at your home. Not only they do a great job of blocking the sun, having blinds helps to trap cooler air next to your home.
For the house in the photo above, once all the blinds lowered, it will trap a zone of cool air making the house cozy while outside, the sun could be blazing hot. On days that are cool and cloudy or when you want to let in more light, you can simply pull the external blinds. They are quite flexible in that sense. You can choose bamboo or wooden blinds in their natural color or you can have them painted to match the color of your house.
To have the maximum effect, it is better to have lighter colors so that most of the heat is reflected. However, it may mean your white colored blinds start going gray after some time. Wooden or bamboo blinds will require some form of maintenance after some time. Either a new coat of paint or shellac once every year or so and they will last a long time. If you can, get bamboo blinds since bamboo grow much faster and is considered more environmentally friendly compared to wood, that requires trees to be cut down to make the blinds.
You can install such blinds at your car porch ceiling front and back windows and walls. It is quite easy to hang up external wooden blinds under awnings and beams as well.
While external blinds may not be an option is you live in a condominium, you can still install it at the balcony. Whether you install them at your home or condominium, make sure that they are secured properly and do not flap around too much when winds are strong.
The difference between tinting and external blinds is that blinds tend to make your home much darker. If your home is already dark in the center, then tinting may be a better option. For homes that have side windows, then you can opt for one or the other or even both to have the maximum shielding effect.
Both this two method do not cost a lot of money to install. In the long run, they will save you a lot of money in electricity cost. On days that are really hot and when you want to run your air conditioner, your air conditioner does not need to work as hard to cool your home.
Read part 1 of Passive Cooling.
Here is the part 3 of cooling your home naturally.