5 Ways To Maintain A Bright And Airy Living Area

It's all about passive cooling and natural ventilation

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Jilson Tiu

Believe it or not, despite the hot and humid weather in Manila, there are ways to achieve a cool and comfortable home. Aside from incorporating wide screen windows into the design of your home, many architects recommend using passive cooling techniques to lessen the heat without having to use an air-conditioner. Here are some of them: 

1. Install big windows. 

Wide windows let in air and light, minimizing electric consumption. Ventanillas (sliding panels located under windows in traditional Filipino homes) can also be added to modern day houses to let air circulate freely.

2. Create an air well. 

An air well is a vertical column in a house or building that helps natural ventilation rise through the well and through a small window or opening. This allows the air to enter the room that the air well is adjacent to. 

3. Add indoor plants. 

Plants are good for the soul, calms the nerves and heightens the senses—what's not to love about them? A small area at the back of your house can be made into a pocket garden. Even a small spot of green is soothing to the eyes. 

4. Go for high ceilings. 

It is a scientific fact that warm air rises, while cool air descends. A home with a high ceiling will have more space for warm air to circulate in, making the lived-in space below less stuffy.

5. Install water features like ponds and fountains. 

Water features do decrease the temperature, especially when it passes through the water. Evaporating water helps cool air so placing these water features outside a window opening is ideal. 

The original article ("Blissful, Breezy") appeared in the October 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. 

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