We’re all feeling the intensity of the heat this summer; heat like we have never experienced before. Climate change is certainly leaving its mark with the increase in heat waves across the world. In 2021, the heat dome led to the death of 619 people in British Columbia as temperatures soared above 40 °C. Hundreds of wildfires were sparked across Canada during the wave.
What does this all mean? Heat waves are guaranteed to become even more frightening and now is the time to keep yourself and your loved ones cool and safe. Today, we make a case for Passive Cooling to reduce temperatures within your home.
Passive cooling refers to techniques used to reduce temperatures without relying on high energy-consuming systems. It is as simple as pulling down your shades at optimal sun times or opening your windows for some cool night air. What is interesting to note is that research has found passive cooling’s ability to reduce indoor temperatures by 25 °F in a heat wave!
The Pacific Northwest was chosen for the research, as it was the prime location to implement passive cooling techniques. The night air is often cool and air conditioning is rarely used. There was no escape from the temperatures in 2021, as India and Pakistan were severely impacted by the heat wave used to inform the study.
A computer simulation of a west-facing two-bedroom apartment was created using data from the 2021 heatwave. It was found that opening windows and drawing shades made conditions livable, which was surprising as temperatures climbed into the triple digits. Opening windows was most effective at night and in the morning, even when combined with a fan.
Shades made the greatest difference in the afternoon when the sun was beating directly against the windows. Overall the need for active cooling was reduced by 80% and passive cooling successfully reduced heat by 25 °F for three days!
Passive cooling works best when methods are used strategically. Keeping abreast of weather forecasts will assist with your efforts. Opening windows at night – especially if a heat wave is approaching – will preemptively cool down your space. Lowering external shades before the peak of the afternoon sun will also be helpful.
If you’ve been convinced to combine these methods and need an external shutter or shade, here are our recommendations
Habitat Screens are trusted solutions for several reasons, one of which is preventing solar overheating in the summer. Not only do they create a cool home environment, but they also protect your furniture from destructive UV rays.
Awnings are popular outdoor shading solutions, but did you know that they reduce up to 75% of the heat entering your home? Don’t sacrifice enjoying your outdoor space just because it’s hot outside. Keep your patio and deck cool by installing an awning.
Though rollshutters are typically known for security and hurricane protection, they also offer sun protection which means your space will benefit tremendously.
Are you convinced to try Passive Cooling? Remember it is important to stay tuned to weather updates and combine techniques for maximum impact!