Natural Air Part 2

Natural Air Conditioning - save energy, stay cool with these tips.

Natural Air Conditioning - Part 2

Follow These Tips to Cool Your Home In An Eco-Friendly Manner

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Buy High Quality Windows

Performance Ratings - It's all in the numbers

U-Factor This measure the rate of heat transfer and gives you information as to how the window insulates. The lower the U-value the better insulation value of the window. With windows you will see U-values that range from 0.25 to 1.25, with .25 being the best.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) This measures the fraction of solar energy transmitted through the glass and how well the window blocks heat caused by direct sunlight. Here, the lower the number value, the less heat the window transmits. Values generally vary from 0.25 to 0.80. Remember here too, the lower the number, the better.

Visible Transmittance: This is a measurement of visible light coming through the window. The higher the value, the more light you will see. Values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80

Air Leakage (AL) This is a measurement of air leaking through cracks in the window assembly. The lower the value the lesser amount of air leakage you will experience and the better performance of the window assembly.

Condensation Resistance: The is a measurement of how well the window resists the build-up of water or condensation. The higher the number the more resistance the window will have. This number will range from 0 to 100.

Take a good look at the new E4 rated windows. This is the latest and the greatest and is well worth the additional money.

Add Clerestory Window Of Ventilation

Add Clerestory Window Of Ventilation

Natural Air Conditioning Tip 7:
Clerestory Windows & The Chimney Effect

Consider the Addition Of Operable Clerestory Windows To Your Home: Clerestory windows (or high windows) are a great addition to your home. When designed correctly, they can bring natural lighting into the core living spaces of your home and when operable, they can let heat build-up escape via the "chimney effect".

By merely opening windows located low to your living space floor and these upper clerestory windows at the same time, you create a natural air flow, bringing in the heavier cool air down low and the lighter warm air escapes through the clerestory windows.

This is a principle based on the physics of air flow and it can be the single most important design feature that you can bring into your home.

If you decide to make use of clerestory windows be sure to shade them well with large overhangs - especially with eastern and western exposures.

Also follow the guidelines above for window selection.

It's All About Window Placement

It's All About Window Placement

Natural Air Conditioning Tip 8:
Pay Attention To Window Placement

If possible, try to limit the amount of east and west-facing glass wherever possible. If you do have east or west facing glass attempt to place porches or lanai areas over this glass to protect it as much as possible.

Where you do use east and west glass provide very high performing UV glass in these locations. The reason for minimizing the glass in these orientations is the sun exposure is the most severe (low angle) in the early morning and late evening and brings in the greatest amount of heat gain.

Foundation Plantings

Utilize Foundation Plantings

Natural Air Conditioning Tip 9:
Utilize Planting Areas Around Your Home

Plants soak up heat and as the natural breezes blow through the foliage, the temperature is lowered a bit. Also the heat island effect in planting beds is minimized so there is little if any heat radiating from the planting beds.

Additional benefits of foundation plantings include aesthetic value is added to your home and this also increases your home's value.

Be sure to visit our section on Green Landscaping were we will guide you through everything you need to know about installing planning beds, drip irrigation, mulching and how to care for your law/garden/landscaping organically.

Paddle Fans Provide Many Benefits

Paddle Fans Provide Many Benefits

Natural Air Conditioning Tip 10:
Install Ceiling Paddle Fans

In all living areas, install energy efficient paddle ceiling fans. Include all sleeping rooms, living areas, and family rooms. Make sure you have a speed controller on them to reduce additional energy.

For more information on Paddle Fans and many more things you can do to "green-up" your home visit our page - The Top Twenty Green Home Tips.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs With CFL's

Replace Incandescent Bulbs With CFL's

Natural Air Conditioning Tip 11:
Reduce Incandescent Light Usage

Minimize or eliminate any usage of incandescent lamps in your home. Use compact fluorescent's, LED or T8 fluorescent lamps with energy-saving ballasts. Not only will you drastically lower your electric bills, you will remove a lot of heat sources from the interior of your home.

Natural Air Conditioning: Rapping It Up

Using these tips will lower your air-conditioning bills drastically. Even if you do have air-conditioning installed in your home you will find you will barely need to turn it on.

I will say that if you live in an area of the country that experiences excess humidity, you may need to run your air conditioning occasionally to lower your Homes' humidity.

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