Living in a tropical country like the Philippines means dealing with extremely hot summers. While it’s easy to crank up the air conditioning to stay cool, this can be expensive and energy-intensive. However, having a house that stays cool during summer is not just about comfort and energy efficiency – it can also impact our health and the preservation of our belongings.
Excessive heat indoors can put people inside at risk of health problems such as dehydration, food-borne illnesses, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, respiratory problems, skin problems, cardiovascular problems, and among others.
It can also spoil food faster, damage electronics, warp furniture, fade fabrics, and melt house items made of plastic, wax, or other heat-sensitive materials. Also, the heat will make you more reliant on fans and air conditioners, which will inevitably raise your electric bills.
With all that said, let us explore 5 foolproof ways to build a house that stays cool during summer.
5 Foolproof Ways on Building a House That Stays Cool During Summer
By positioning a house to receive less direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day and taking advantage of natural shading devices such as trees, overhangs, or awnings, it is possible to reduce the amount of heat that enters the house. Additionally, by positioning a house to take advantage of prevailing winds and create cross-ventilation, hot air can escape and cool air can enter, reducing the need for artificial cooling systems such as air conditioning.
Insulation and Ventilation
Insulation and ventilation keep houses cooler even during the hottest days. Insulation helps by preventing heat from entering the house from the outside and keeping cool air inside the house. This can be achieved by using materials with high thermal resistance such as fiberglass, cellulose, and foam can help keep your houses insulated.
Ventilation, however, allows hot air to escape and cool air to enter. To make a well-ventilated house, including windows, doors, and vents to allow passage of cool air inside and to let out hot air. You can also use fans and aircon to circulate air around the house to keep it cool.
Did you know that color can play a part in keeping your home cooler? Having your walls painted in white or other light colors reflect sunlight. This helps reduce the amount of heat absorbed by your walls, thus keeping houses cool and comfortable.
See, a fresh coat of paint will not only spruce up your home but also keep it cool.
A house that is strategically placed around the house can benefit from having shade during the hottest parts of the day. This reduces the amount of sunlight that hits the roof, walls, and other parts of the house and will help keep it cool.
You can also add trees, shrubs, and other plants around the house too.
The green won’t only keep the house cool from the outside, but also from the inside. Indoor plants reduce the temperature and improve air quality through transpiration and evaporative cooling. Plants release moisture through tiny pores (transpiration) which cools the surrounding air and reduces the temperature indoors. As plants release moisture, the humidity levels increase, making a more comfortable indoor environment.
Excessive indoor heat during summer can cause health problems and damage to our properties. While relying on fans and air conditioners is easy, it is not always cost-effective and sustainable for the environment. To avoid relying on these, it is important to consider other ways to keep houses cool such as the tips we discussed above. While some items on the list require long-term planning, others such as keeping indoor plants and painting your walls and roofs with light colors can immediately help.
- 10 tips for building a home in a hot climate. (2019, January 30). Homes to Love. https://www.homestolove.com.au/home-building-tips-hot-climates-14914
- Williams, J. (2021, September 13). How to create a naturally cool building. The Earthbound Report. https://earthbound.report/2018/08/03/how-to-create-a-naturally-cool-building/
- Amir, N., & Amir, N. (2022). 7 tips on how to build a house that stays cool. Popular Science. https://www.popsci.com/science/keep-home-cool-without-ac/