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Last updated April. 5, 2019
Natural ventilation simply refers to the process of letting fresh air into an indoor space and letting stale air leave without involving any mechanical system.
This normally happens as a result of pressure differences arising from natural forces. It is one of the most effective ways to keep the house cool.
It is also the healthiest of the known methods of cooling a home as it often improves air quality.
In many modern houses, there are different factors that militate natural ventilation.
One of such is the fact that construction companies make houses more airtight now for energy-efficiency.
When you are not considering the cost of heating and cooling, this method of building houses has no real advantage but rather makes proper aeration difficult.
If you understand its importance perfectly, you will definitely want to improve natural ventilation in your home.
One of the most popular and effective ways to achieve this is to open up your windows. While this is very common, it is not the only known way.
There are other things you can do to improve natural ventilation and we will discuss them below.
Clerestories and vented skylights are known for their efficiency in providing natural illumination.
They provide a flow of direct light into your house and can also improve air movement.
Since they are strategically located up high, they are able to act as vents and space for hot air to accumulate.
The upward movement of hot air creates space for fresh air to enter the home.
Using clerestories and vented skylights, therefore, helps you achieve two purposes – improved illumination and ventilation.
The height of your windows and the way they are designed are even more important than opening them.
The amount of natural ventilation you will obtain from the window will be influenced by the height of such a window. This factor is important when you are still in the process of construction.
Windows should be installed at least 3.6 feet high to improve natural ventilation. The window orientation also matters: they should be placed on the north and south areas to encourage cross ventilation.
This is directly related to opening the windows and doors. At night, when there is bound to be more wind to ensure excellent room aeration, opening the doors and windows will make sense.
You can’t do this with confidence, however, as that will mean inviting bugs and pets into your home.
When you screen your windows and doors, you can confidently open them up during the day and in the night too.
This way, you will enjoy improved ventilation without exposing your household to pests and disease vectors.
You can also use wind/air deflectors to improve natural ventilation in your home. They can generally be placed vertically or horizontally to redirect airflow into your home.
Most people place them on higher levels to direct air motion into their windows. They can also be installed in the form of overhangs, louvers, or slats.
A chimney in your home also helps to improve natural ventilation through the principle of the convention. This is similar to what happens with clerestories.
As the fresh air that enters your home absorb heat, the temperature increases and this forces the air to rise up.
The presence of an open chimney serves as a vent for the heated air to leave the house, lowering the pressure and making room for fresh cool air to be introduced into the house.
This process is repeated continuously and encourages proper ventilation. In many instances, this process facilitates more air flow than the opening of windows.
The furniture you have in your home also affect the way your home is ventilated. Heavy furniture that has high heat retention discourages ventilation.
Lighter furniture with low heat retention, on the other hand, encourages natural ventilation.
Wicker and bamboo furniture are well known for their ability to encourage good air flow.
They are generally light and retain very little heat. Beautifully designed bamboo and wicker furniture can be used in indoor spaces as well as in outdoor living areas.
Transitional spaces are open spaces in your house. They include courts, balconies, atriums, and other open areas. It is unfortunate that some homes are built without these spaces.
If you are still in the process of constructing your home, it is important that you incorporate transitional spaces.
They are very efficient in ensuring that your home is properly ventilated at all times.
If you are looking for a new home, you should also consider houses with these spaces.
Whenever the wind blows in the direction of transitional spaces, you can be sure that they will help to keep your home properly ventilated.
This is a nonconventional means of improving natural ventilation in your home.
It is a clear example of biomimicry as it is based on the air circulation concepts from insect mounds and black-tailed prairie dogs. Earth mounds can help improve airflow in your environment.
You can create earth mounds as parts of your home garden or yard landscape to help improve air circulation in your immediate outdoor space and this can easily improve natural ventilation in your indoor space too.
This is another option that is not quite common as people do not know about it and those that do know pay very little attention to it.
Pavements and surrounding grounds can be covered with grass or other low heat absorbing materials.
Natural grass is absolutely the best material for this and will help to minimize the heat that will be retained in the ground.
This simple trick will help to direct more cool air into your indoor space and improve natural ventilation of your home.
Natural ventilation remains the best and safest means of providing fresh air to your household.
It has so many compelling advantages over mechanical ventilation including improved air quality and lowered energy cost.
It is also great for the environment. The methods above are efficient means, other than opening windows, that improves natural home aeration.
If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.