Natural air-conditioning for your home

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 13:12

Radiant heaters can be used to efficiently increase temperatures around a house by warming water under the floor or in the baseboards, allowing heat to transfer to the nearby surfaces rather than heating all of the air in an entire room. This floor heating reduces the amount of energy needed in the winter by minimizing the heat that escapes, saving homeowners money while also lowering a house's carbon footprint. If more houses implemented natural and efficient methods of climate control, it could make a big difference in the energy dependence many people face today by relying on oil and natural gas.
By using natural processes to heat and cool houses, people can create a much more sustainable way of living. Water has great potential when used in these procedures. It acts as a buffer for transferring heat with radiant heaters, but with just a few simple pieces of equipment, its evaporation can be harnessed for the opposite cooling effect.
Introducing a simple way to stay cool in the summer - the Cold PotCooling a house often requires just as much energy as heating does with large air conditioners running around the clock. However, a Swiss designer named Thibault Faverie has developed a more natural method of cooling homes using a material that has served the purpose for a long time - clay. According to Jetson Green, Faverie's Cold Pot is a straightforward clay pot with nothing but an aluminum pipe and a small fan hooked up on the inside. Through evaporation, the Cold Pot lowers temperatures around it by soaking in water and then allowing it to evaporate once it comes into contact with the air. The transformation of matter cools the pipe inside where the fan then disperses the conditioned air to the outside.
While this device might not be suitable for cooling large areas by itself, multiple Cold Pots could have a greater effect. Future incarnations of this simple technology that take it to a larger scale have the potential to make power-consuming machines like air conditioners obsolete, lowering the stress on power grids during the summer months when they are more prone to outages.
The benefits and possibilities of evaporationThis sustainable means of air-conditioning still requires some electricity, but a much smaller amount than other AC units. The Cold Pot doesn't need much upkeep either, as it only needs two liters of water to operate with a potential of cooling an area anywhere from 14.5-18 degrees Fahrenheit, the source reported.
The Cold Pot could save homeowners money as it provides a much quieter solution for cooling a home in the warmer seasons where the hum of air conditioners can constantly be heard.
Not only can the process of evaporation help people control the temperature inside their houses, but it can be applied to third-world countries that don't have the luxury of electric refrigerators to keep their food from going bad. The cooling effects of evaporation in regions like Darfur in Sudan give locals a way to keep their fruits and vegetables from going bad on the sometimes long trips to the market in intense heat, according to Engineering for Change.
Using two clay pots with one inside the other and wet sand to fill the space in between, villagers' food in the smaller pot is kept fresh by the water in the sand evaporating. The drying sand removes the heat inside the containers, just like the Cold Pot does for the rooms in which it is located.
Even if houses can't go completely off-grid when it comes to controlling the temperatures inside during the various seasons, methods such as radiant heating and cooling through evaporation like the Clay Pot provide much greener alternatives to conventional measures and come with a host of benefits for the environment and homeowners alike. If more people converted to such means, they would notice a big difference in many aspects of their lives.