Cooling Down a Room: What is the best way?

The arrival of good weather and sunshine can inevitably cause the temperature in your home to become rather unpleasant. Depending on the positioning of your house, whether you have shutters or blinds, and, of course, if there is a heatwave, room temperatures can rise quickly. So, what should you do? And what is the best system to keep your house cool?

How to maintain a cool room temperature

What does the Law say?

Keeping your home cool during hot weather is not always easy, especially in the summer. However, in France there are specific standards with regards to living comfort that must be considered when constructing a property. For example, the standard indoor room temperature must not surpass a certain threshold. 

 Appliances to cool down your home

Using an air conditioner

Air conditioners work in a similar way to refrigerators, as they too use an air-to-air heat pump system. This system, with the aid of two heat exchangers (an evaporator and a condenser) and a liquid called “refrigerant”, allows the device to cool down the air in a room. There are various types of air conditioners to meet all consumer needs:

  • Packaged air conditioners
  • Split air conditioners
  • Multi-split air conditioners

Air conditioners can be fixed or mobile, wall-mounted, or ceiling-mounted (cassette). Your choice of air conditioner, whether it be for your entire house or just a specific room, will largely depend on the target surface area, the desired machine power, and the allocated budget.

Air conditioners can provide great comfort and the vast majority of models do not affect air quality – an important factor for your health. In fact, some even contain filters specifically designed to capture the smallest particles and pollutants in order to make the air even cleaner. However, from an environmental standpoint, air conditioning is not the best option. Not only do air conditioners emit greenhouse gases, but they also consume a lot of electricity.

What is the difference between an air cooler and an air conditioner?

Air coolers are appliances that use a wet pad, soaked with cold water stored in a tank, to lower the air temperature by means of evaporation.They consume less energy than air conditioning systems, making them a more economic and ecological choice. Also, unlike air conditioners, they don’t emit any greenhouse gases. They are easy to set-up and can be a source of great comfort when it gets stuffy. The room temperature can be lowered in a slow, gentle manner, thus avoiding any drastic changes that could lead to thermal shock – a condition sometimes provoked by air conditioners. 

However, they are not as flexible as air conditioners as you are unable to set them to an exact temperature.  It is also worth noting that air coolers are best used in small rooms and when the air is dry because the humidity can impair their performance. What’s more, they are not self-sufficient. The water tank needs to be filled manually in order for them to work successfully. Air coolers can only lower the room temperature by a few degrees so they may not be powerful enough in a heat wave.

Are fans effective?

With their many modes and quick and easy operation, fans remain a very popular tool in combating hot weather. A propeller is used to circulate the air around the room, meaning they are not actually capable of reducing the temperature. They only thing they can influence is the perceived temperature. Although fans are less efficient than air conditioners, they do not require any installation and are much more environmentally friendly.There are various fan models available:

  • Desk fans
  • Pedestal fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Tower fans
  • Wind machines

There are several factors to take into account when selecting a fan. To begin with, not all fans will have the same performance level as this can vary between models.  For example, the flow rate of a pedestal fan is generally weaker than that of a wind machine, meaning that it reaches a far smaller surface area. If you are seeking additional comfort and coolness, there are certain models that offer integrated water misters. The small drops of water projected by the mister allow the air to be better cooled than a classic fan whose efficiency becomes limited above a certain temperature. They are also able to increase the humidity if it is too dry and hot. Just like air coolers, fans with a misting system require a water tank.

Natural cooling methods: tips and tricks

 Should windows and shutters be closed?

During periods of hot weather, lowering your blinds or closing your shutters will help decrease room temperature. Indeed, Persian blinds are especially effective because they allow the room to be cooled while still letting sufficient sunlight into the room. If the windows in your flat do not have shutters or blinds, closing the curtains is another good option. However, when the temperature drops at night-time, it is better to keep your windows open in order to air out and cool down the house. Another handy tool for cooling down your house is draughts. When the temperature is lower, draughts can be purposefully created by leaving several windows open at the same time. VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO makes it possible for you to control your blinds, shutters, and roof windows in order to keep your home cool in hot weather and ensure healthy air quality throughout the day.

Do plants really help cool down your house?

Using plants to cool down your home is a simple, economic and environmentally friendly tip! Not only does their foliage offer shade in the house, but plants also (and most importantly!) create humidity. They play an important role, especially in summer, in cooling down the different rooms in your home.  Some plants can even improve air quality indoors. The Netatmo Smart Home Weather Station goes perfectly in hand with the use of plants. Its sensors measure and provide clear data on the air quality in your home.

Why is insulation important when cooling a room?

Insulation is often only associated with winter; however, during the summer it also plays a key role in keeping the air in your home cool. Insulation should primarily be installed around the windows and walls, as well as in the roof and attic.

How do you cool down a bedroom?

Given that it is where you sleep, the bedroom is of particular importance when cooling down your home. The same tips and tricks used in the rest of the house can be applied to this room too. Lighting also plays a key role in controlling the temperature of your bedroom. For example, incandescent bulbs can be detrimental as they consume lots of energy and heat up the room considerably. 

Keeping the rooms in your home cool is essential in maintaining a certain level of comfort. There are a variety of possible solutions but choosing the right one for you depends on many factors: surface area, outdoor temperature, type of dwelling, cost of installation etc… Whatever option you go for, the most important thing is that you are properly protected from the indoor effects of the sun (as well as protecting yourself outdoors, of course).