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Living in the tropics can often be rewarding but there will be times when you will curse the day you decided to build a house under the blazing heat of the sun. This can be avoided if your home design is right for a tropical climate.
While you can always install a cooling system, there is another option you can go for to reduce the need for it. Here are some things to consider when building a home in the tropics:
1.Familiarize yourself with the sunlight phases.
Know where the sunlight is hitting your home. This is a big factor in keeping the house cool. Be familiar with the angles of the sun during a specific month then make some changes to deflect the heat or prevent it from getting inside.
For example, add window treatments or tint that will deflect the heat. And if you have an outdoor deck, you can install polycarbonate sheet roofing. It can keep your space well-lighted while protecting the people inside from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It can be a comfortable area to hang about during the summer.
Making these simple changes to your home can prevent overheating your house, especially during hot summer days when the temperature can reach up to 30°C.
2.Improve Air Circulation
There are many benefits from a home that allow proper air circulation. To name a few:
- It can prevent stagnant air
- It prevents molds from growing
- And most importantly, it can save you from high electricity bills due to the frequent use of your air-cooling system
Have at least two windows for every room in the house to promote cross-ventilation. Place the vents and windows as high as possible so the air can freely flow in and out. Insulation must be taken into consideration as well, for a stable indoor temperature.
3.The Stack Effect
The stack effect is also another way to save money because this is a natural way to ventilate a house.
How does it happen? The hot air rises, exhausted by the walls, and then out through the ceiling. At the same time, the cool air is drawn to the house starting at a low level. It’s a cycle.
Here’s how to create the stack effect:
Create a high window–just below your ceiling. Then, create voids that are higher than the height of the space.
Factors that contribute to the stack effect are as follows:
- Height of the stack
- Pressure difference outside your house
- The thermal difference of both top and bottom stack
4.Plant Trees Around the House
No doubt the best natural air cooler is the trees. They can block direct sunlight from your window, walls, and roof. Trees help in reducing the amount of solar radiation that makes our home warm.
When planting, be intentional about where exactly you’re planting the plants and trees. Consider which part of your house will be shaded. Make sure to plant the trees properly and at the right distance from your home to avoid damage to the floor and structure.
Additional tips to keep your home cool all year round:
Install air vents
This will promote better air circulation and can reduce the temperature. Make sure to have it clean regularly to maximize its benefits.
Install air conditioning system
Nothing can beat natural air coolers but it’s nice to have an air conditioning system on days that you just can’t take the heat anymore. It’s instant relief and can prevent dehydration, high blood pressure, and even asthma.
Install ceiling and wall fans
This is the option if you want a low-cost cooling system. But bear in mind that fans don’t really cool up a room. They just move air around, and sometimes it can be noisy.
Bring some greenery indoors
Apart from their ability to make any room look fresh, they can keep it cool, too. When the room heats up, your plants can release excess water into the air, and through releasing evaporated water, they can cool themselves and that includes their surroundings.
Plants can be great decors, an effective stress reliever, an air cooler, inexpensive, and more. What’s not to love?
Some popular plants that are perfect indoors are:
- Devil’s Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Spider Plant
- Snake Plant
- Rubber Plant
- Aloe Vera
And these are the things you must-do if you are planning to build or renovate a house in the tropics. Of course, you should consult building professionals for the right way to achieve these changes. But we hope we were able to help with these useful tips.