Passive Cooling: Creating a Sustainable Future

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The Table below lists the ideas presented in this section. By conscientiously applying these measures, you can achieve greater energy independence. In so doing, you can help slash your energy bills.

You can also help foster a transition away from natural gas and oil, both of which are declining rapidly. Your efforts will, in a small but important way, help build a stronger and brighter future for ourselves and our children.



Our Suggestions

Your Own Ideas

Reduce Internal Heat Gain

Use lights sparingly.

Turn lights off when not in use.

Remove light bulbs in areas where they not needed to avoid over-lighting.

Turn water heater temperature down to 120°F (49°C).

Install water heater insulation blanket.

Insulate hot water pipes.

Eat more cold meals in the summer.

Cook outside.

Use the microwave in the summer.

Bake at night.

Run exhaust fan when cooking.

Use the cold or warm water settings on washing machine. Wash clothes at night. Hang clothes on outside line.

Dry larger loads.

Close off utility room.

Open window to utility room when the clothes dryer is in use during summer.

Turn computers and other electronic devices off when not in use.

Watch TV more sparingly.

Unplug TV and stereo when not in use. Plug TV and stereo into power strip and turn off when not in use.

Turn off furnace pilot light during the cooling season.

Let pets spend more time outside in the summer.

Spend more time outdoors on porches and patios.

Take shorter showers. Open window when showering. Run exhaust fan when showering. Install an efficient showerhead. Hand-wash dishes.

Switch off drying option on dishwasher.


Reduce External Heat Gain

Plant shade trees.

Build artificial shade structures such as arbors and trellises.

Install awnings.

Install and use window shades.

Seal cracks in building envelope.

Upgrade insulation.

Replace energy-inefficient windows.

Repaint with a lighter color.

Replace roof shingles with lighter-colored ones or metal roofing or Spanish tiles.

Install radiant barriers. .


Purge Heat

Use natural ventilation early and late in cooling season and as much as possible during the height of the cooling season, if your climate permits.

Purge heat at night in dry climates.

Install and use window fans.

Install attic fan.

Install whole house fan.

Improve efficiency of air conditioning system (seal ducts, replace dirty filters, shade air conditioner, etc.).

Replace inefficient air conditioners with more efficient models or evaporative coolers if you are in a dry climate.

Install an air-source heat pump.


Cool People

Use fans Install and use ceiling fans.


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