Alternative Energy

Published on September 15th, 2014 | by Peter Young


Clean Technologies For Cooling And Heating Your Home


Today there are all sorts of different systems you can have installed in order to green your home and make it more energy and water efficient, but which ones give you the best bang for your buck? After all, your home is a serious financial investment and making it as energy and water efficient as possible could mean a lower overall cost of ownership and a higher resale value down the road. So to help you get the best value when it comes to greening your home, we’ve come up with the following list of clean technologies for heating and cooling your home. The first thing to do is to see if by positioning fans and capitalizing on natural ventilation, you can effectively cool your home without any major investments. If you need more than that, however (most people don’t), here are some great clean tech heating and cooling concepts.

1. Passive Solar Home Designs

One of, if not the, best ways to ensure that your home is energy and water efficient is through the use of a passive solar home design. These designs will orient and lay out the floor plan of your home in such a way that you can use the angle of the sun to both cool your home in the summer, and heat it during the winter. To get a better idea of how this works, check out this diagram and video on how passive solar heating and cooling works:


Note: This video was produced in Australia for homes in the southern hemisphere, however, the design principles will apply to all homes regardless of latitude.

2. Solar Powered A/C and Hot Water Systems

Solar energy is a fantastic way to power all of the various heating and cooling systems in your home, and while they may be a little expensive up front, they’ll save you tons of money over the life of your home. We feel that the two best ways to utilize this renewable resource is through solar powered A/C and solar hot water heaters. Both systems will drastically reduce your carbon footprint! Check out the diagrams below to get a better idea of how these systems work:

Solar Air Conditioning:


Solar Hot Water Heaters:This is a diagram of how a solar hot water heater works.

3. Fans and Ventilation Systems

Utilizing either fans or ventilation systems is a great way to make your home both comfortable and energy efficient. There are lots of options to choose from, but we feel that passive home ventilation and whole house fans are the best bang for your buck. Whole house fans are large (~400 watt) fans that suck large volumes of air in through open windows and out through your roof. This is particularly helpful in places where the temperature drops in the evening, so that in the summer, you can cool the whole house in less than an hour in most cases with clean, fresh air, rather than running an AC unit all night and circulating that air over and over inside the home and through a potentially clogged/dirty air filter.

An attic fan simply vents the hot air out of your attic, bringing outside air in through vents. This reduces the amount of heat that will emanate down into your home through the ceiling. Attic fans are a great way to reduce the amount of energy a cooling system uses, or by themselves, just to cool the house down when it needs it most (when the air is hottest).

Check out the videos below to see how these systems work and why they’re a good investment for your home:

Attic fan:

Passive Home Ventilation:

Whole House Fans:

4. Swamp Coolers (Evaporative Cooling)

If you happen to live in an area that is both hot and dry, like the SW United States, swamp coolers are a great alternative to air conditioning. Not only do they tend to use less energy than their air conditioning counter parts, they’ll also introduce moisture to the air which will help to keep things from drying out completely. Check out this video to get a better understanding of how these systems work and why it might make sense for your home:

If you’re looking for more ways to save money and energy around your home check out some of our green home improvement projects: Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!

Photo courtesy of Eco-Friendly HousesSpringtime Homes, Solar Energy For Homes, Pep Solar,

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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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