Passive Air Conditioning - It Works!

Homes in temperate climatic zones don't have severe air conditioning requirements, but there is little doubt that many homes in such zones require cooling systems. One way to deal with overheating problems in temperate zones is mechanical air conditioning such as heat pumps. Such systems cost thousands of dollars, require a lot of maintenance and energy, i.e., $$$. They also make noise.

Passive systems are usually less expensive to install, require little maintenance and very little energy. Passive systems use shading and natural venting to keep homes cool. Such systems were used by the Anasazi and Ancient Egyptians. And passive cooling is the normal way to keep homes cool around the Mediterranean and many other parts of the world. Passive cooling systems are not magic but they do require some careful design. Such systems may also require some assistance from the inhabitants of the home. They are quiet and they work very well!

Location and exposure play a large part in overheating problems. For example, homes with an unobstructed southern exposure will be heated by the sun more than those in a shaded area or those with a northeaster exposure. This may save in winter heating costs but it may also require some summer cooling systems. The design of the home is often a major contributing factor in such cases. Yet, relatively simple design modifications are almost always possible solutions to such overheating problems. And energy consuming air conditioning systems are rarely required nor are they the most desirable method to keep homes cool in temperate zones.

Air Conditioning