The trend in going green is bigger than ever and, in particular, we look at green living in our own homes. Every little bit helps and implementing green living into your home and everyday life can have a much bigger impact than one might think. Here we’ll have a look at some options for natural temperature control in your home and why it is important.
Natural temperature control has many benefits, namely:
• no need to purchase, install or pay for repair of an HVAC
• electricity consumption can be cut by half
• it’s an indefinite source of heating and cooling
• no dependency on the grid
• eliminates noise pollution, and
• is ecologically friendly.
It is important to control home temperature, not just for comfortable living, but as a vital step to reduce damage to your home. Without it, one could have issues such as mould growth, formation of condensation, and damage to the building envelope (walls, floors, roofs, fenestrations and doors). Luckily, the earth and sun provide all the energy we need and there are many ways to harness this to our own advantage.
• Insulation - The use of high quality insulation helps to prevent heat loss by decreasing the amount of heat that escapes the house. Good insulation can also keep the heat out in the warmer months. You can insulate your walls, floors, ceiling, basement, attic, windows and doors.
|Image from Greener Ideal|
• Solar Heating – The sun is our greatest source of heat and energy so why not harness all that thermal power? You get different types of solar heating and cooling systems, from radiant floor to hot water baseboards or radiators and central forced-air systems. Solar collectors for air heating are much the same as those used for water heating systems, with the most common being the flat-plate collectors. You can also look into evacuated tube, thermosiphon, Integral Collector Storage (ICS) and concentrating collectors. You also get a choice of liquid or air based. Liquid-based solar heating systems use a non-toxic liquid to transfer the heat from the collector, whilst air-based systems heat air in a solar air collector and then use fans to distribute and circulate the heated air around your home.
|Image from EcoVeta|
• Solar Cooling – Also referred to as solar-assisted cooling, these systems may also be used for heating your home during the winter months. You get two types – absorption chiller systems and desiccant systems. The more popular of the two is the absorption chiller system which uses a process very similar to your refrigerator. The desiccant system on the other hand passes air over a drying agent such as silica gel, which draws the humidity out of the air making it cooler and more comfortable.
|Image from letsgosolar.com|
• Natural Ventilation – Think stylish skylights and hidden vents. These allow for the collection of heat or the flow of air through your home. Carefully placed skylights can easily warm a room, whilst vents allow easier flow of air throughout the house. The only problem with these is that they serve a singular purpose and whilst vents might be a joy in summer, they may not be your best friend during winter. Likewise for the skylights which would perhaps overheat a room during the summer months.
|Image from SlideShare|
• The Simple Life – There are also simple practices you can look at that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Investing in black out curtains and/or simply closing your blinds can instantly affect the temperature of a room. Closing doors to unused rooms in the winter months prevents cool air from circulating and locks in more heat, likewise in summer, you’d want to keep your doors open and allow for maximum air flow. A little window hack can also make a huge difference – open the top section of your windows on the downwind side of your house and the bottom section of your windows on the upwind side. And last but not least, switch your light bulbs to CFL’s. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90% of their energy in the heat that they emit, so not only would your house be cooler, but so would your electricity bill.
There are so many natural systems one can use to control the temperature in one’s home and new technology appearing all the time. All in all, it’s best to do some research and pick the option that suits your home as well as your budget.
Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month. Read more of his articles here. [https://harfield-village.blogspot.co.za/search?q=andre]
Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.norgarbproperties.co.za