Passive Solar Cooling

Passive solar cooling or "natural cooling" means not using solar energy to directly cool a building or drive any direct cooling processes. Wow that was a tongue twister! But actually it means we just want to keep out the heat!

Passive cooling can be used to reduce and or eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning in areas where cooling is the main problem. But most importantly passive solar heating can save you money!

In the hot arid parts of the world, summer cooling is just as important as winter heating. In fact in some places cooling is more important than heating, because the winters tend to be mild.

Summer comfort not only means keeping the interior of a home cool but also keeping the humidity down. High humidity along with high temperatures can cause excessive discomfort. Fortunately areas with extreme heat are usually pretty arid (relative humidity is usually low).

However even in areas where it gets hot but not extremely so if there is high humidity it is usually very uncomfortable. In those areas it is important to reduce the humidity as well as provide cooling.

There are three main sources of unwanted summer heat:

Direct Sunlight

 Direct sunlight striking a building and coming in the windows is one of the greatest problems but also one of the easiest to fix. One of the easiest ways to block direct sunlight is shading.

Heat transfer and infiltration

This is the heat that sneaks in through leaky and inefficient windows, and cracks and gaps in the building. Stop that sneaky heat by caulking, insulating, and weather-stripping.

Internal heat

This is heat that is produced by peoples bodies, their pets, cooking, the TV, the computer etc. This is remedied by ventilating to remove heat and move air.

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