Passive Solar to Stay Cool This Summer

Solar power — By Stephanie on July 30, 2010 at 5:57 am
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Trees and shrubs provide shade to help keep your home cool

Its summer and its hot!  We all know that its important to stay cool when the mercury rises.  But if you don’t have the resources or space to install air conditioning, how can you keep the heat down?

Passive solar could be the answer to your home cooling needs!

There are some easy ways to utilize cool morning breezes and landscaping outside your home to keep things comfortable inside.  By making a few easy changes to your daily routine, and maybe planting some trees or shrubs, you won’t be sweating the small stuff for long.

Consider these simple solar home design tips:

  • Plant trees on the north and west sides of the property to buffer from chilling winds
  • Overall landscaping with trees and shrubs can provide shade and cooling during summer months
  • Make sure that “warm” rooms like the kitchen and laundry room are located on the north side of the property to provide heat where your home gets coldest
  • Install drapes or shade cloths on windows to both block the sun through the summer, and trap heat inside (insulation) over winter
  • Open windows over summer nights (and definitely in cool mornings) to circulate cooler air throughout your home

Its really that simple!  Implementing these easy passive solar steps can help you, your family and pets stay cool this summer.

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Become a fan of solar cooling

Other ways to reduce the temperature in your living space:

  • Clear space in front of air vents – don’t block with furniture or area rugs
  • Close your fireplace flue to prevent loss of cool air
  • Grill outdoors instead of using a hot oven or stove inside
  • Minimize use of other hot appliances (dishwashers, washers and driers) during the day
  • Line-dry clothing either on a clothesline or on drying racks in the laundry room
  • Avoid using hair dryers – air dry, or style when damp instead
  • Take a cool shower instead of a hot one in the morning
  • Turn off incandescent lights – they generate nearly as much heat as light!

Beyond these tips, be sure to stay well hydrated, apply sunscreen and avoid going out in the heat of the day (10-2), if possible.  Wearing loose fitting clothing also can help you stay cool no matter where you are.

For most of us, summer lasts only a few months!  We’ll soon be looking for ways to stay warm before you know it…. (unbelievable, right?!)

*wiping the sweat from my brow*

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