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Keep your house cool the old-fashioned way

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 13:46

The battle for climate control within houses has been going on for thousands of years. While today homeowners have the luxuries of modern technology such as floor heating and air conditioners, people of past generations were forced to develop methods of warming and cooling their buildings naturally. These sustainable options are just as effective today as they were back when they were first discovered, and combined with new innovations like radiant heaters, homeowners can transform their houses to a much more sustainable way of regulating indoor temperatures, no matter what season it is.

Ever since 3,700 B.C., a structure in the Middle East has protected people from the blistering heat of the region, reported Inhabitat. Beehive houses are so named because of their distinct shape. However, that very design, combined with the materials they're made from, is what gives them their climate-controlling properties.

Using the mud and straw found in the local area to make bricks that harden in the fierce sun, the blocks are stacked in a circle to form walls with a circular opening at the top. The material the walls are made from serve as great insulation to keep the cool air inside and the desert air out, stated Ecofriend. The conical shape of the ceiling also serves to collect the hot air that rises so the occupants below can keep cool with an interior temperature stabilizing at around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 140 degrees it can reach outside.

With a combination of modern technology and old practices such as highly effective insulation, homeowners can make every penny on their monthly heating and electric bills count, limiting the use of costly air conditioning or wasteful heating systems. Not only will it save them money, but it will be a sustainable solution to a year-long worry that sees accumulative benefits over time for the environment as well.

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