If you want your home to leave a small carbon footprint and cost less to run over its lifetime, a good place to start is with the windows. Traditionally, windows were smaller and many older homes still reflect this trend, but it is not difficult to have larger ones installed and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Windows let in the cool breezes, natural lighting and warm sun in the winter, if they are in the right position. And if you are building a new home, now is the time to ensure that your windows are large enough – and are positioned in the correct way.
Why Wind Direction is Important
When you purchase a block of land, probably the last thing on your mind would be what direction the prevailing winds usually come from. But this knowledge is important in passive cooling because you will need larger windows on this side. It is easy to find this information out. Ask some locals who have lived there a long time or find out from the weather bureau. Researching the topic online may be the way to go if your area is well-known. Many cities on the coast will have breezes coming in from the sea.
Once you know this, you can arrange to have the larger windows on that side of the house. However, it is also important to have windows on the opposite side so that the breeze can blow right through the home, taking out the hot air and bringing in fresh cooler air. Having a builder who is interested in eco homes and passive cooling will help.
It may also be possible to change the position of the home on the block of ground to ensure that the living area is the side facing the breeze. Or you could simply make sure that the house plans are drawn up so that this is the case.
Renovating Your Home for Passive Cooling
Once your home is built, you may think it is too late to get passive cooling, but that is not so. Many older homes can be renovated with larger windows on the breezy side. In fact, some people have changed the rooms around completely to have the kitchen and living area on the other side of the home so that they can take advantage of the sun in the winter and the breeze in the summer.
However, if you have been in your home for some time you will have the advantage of knowing which way the wind blows from. Even if your home is positioned with the bedrooms on the breezy side, you can still install larger windows there and leave the door open to allow it entry into the rest of the home. And you will certainly enjoy the cool breeze on those nights when the temperature refuses to drop below 30C.
Added Benefits of Larger Windows
Once you have installed larger windows that direct the breeze into your home you will notice the temperature dropping. You will not have to switch on the air conditioner quite so often, which is a saving for you and for the earth’s resources. And larger windows will allow more light into the home, saving on the use of electricity once again. An added advantage is that you will also be able to enjoy the view more.