Breezes can be found almost everywhere, even if for short periods of time, and they can bring fresh air into your house for free. They can cut your cooling costs in half or more, in many climates.
The most common way of using natural ventilation and breezes consists in ventilating the house during the coolest parts of the night, and to close doors and windows during the hottest part of the day. It can provide dramatic energy savings.
Breezes and natural ventilation, combined with shading strategies, are the backbone of natural cooling and the most important method for cooling homes naturally and cheaply.
The most important for energy savings is not top-rated air conditioners; the most important is to keep the house cool enough, by using ventilation and by protecting it from the sun (using shading devices, and trees and vegetation). Ventilation and shade (and proper home design and siting) can improve your comfort at minimal costs.
Natural ventilation strategies vary a lot. They depend on your climate and on the design of your home.
They may be very simple. Wind and breezes can create by themselves areas of pressure and air movement, ready to enter your home through windows, pushing inside air out; and then you just have to keep the fresh air in, as much as you can, by closing windows and doors.
But in other cases, mainly in hot climates, natural ventilation requires more elaborated strategies, involving cross and stack ventilation, dedicated inlets and outlets, or the use of ventilation fans (whole-house fans, window fans), or evaporative cooling and other means...
Whole-house and window fans can help you bring outside fresh air into your house. That’s what they are designed for. They are different from ceiling fans, or small portable fans, and they can also provide significant energy savings.
In some cases, breezes blow in unwanted directions. And that’s where hedges of trees and shrubs, or casement windows, or wing walls can be useful.
If you live in a hot climate, you may want to consider evaporative cooling, that is, you may use water features on shaded patios, near to your house, to create breezes and fresh air.
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Our Video on Natural Cooling and Breezes: