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Natural ventilation is becoming more and more popular as an option for controlling the temperature inside the home. Concerns about the environment and saving energy (and money) are behind this trend.

Here’s how you can improve natural ventilation at home and how it will benefit you. Let’s take advantage of the good temperatures in Spain and learn how to improve the air in your home in a sustainable way!

Advantages of natural ventilation

Natural is always better than artificial. Look at how much it benefits you to ventilate your home with fresh air from outside (and how much it harms you if you don’t):

Save energy… and money

That alone makes it worthwhile, doesn’t it? When you avoid energy-consuming mechanical systems, you are obviously saving money on your electricity bill.

In fact, ventilation systems that take advantage of natural airflows are trending in architectural design and renovations of buildings and homes. Like the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe, which was inspired by the ventilation system used by termites!

Better health

Without proper ventilation, excessive moisture can become trapped in your home and cause mould and mildew to form. Humidity is the ideal environment for pollutants such as pollen, dust or even carbon monoxide.

With natural ventilation, the airflow carries away airborne particles and dust mites. And not only that. Sunlight fights micro-organisms. So open up those windows!

Natural ventilation

Conservation of your home

Ventilation is necessary to remove the water vapour that we generate when we breathe, cook, light a fire… If the water vapour does not leave the house and accumulates, it can damage the structure, insulation or finishes of your home.

Natural ventilation: how to achieve it

There is much more to it than just opening windows. Here are some tips on how to optimise the natural ventilation of your home. Trust us: you’ll feel the difference.

Cross ventilation

Who hasn’t heard of cross ventilation? In the next section we explain it in depth, but here’s what you need to know: open windows in opposite areas (facing each other) will allow the draught to flow more quickly, removing and renewing the air. 🌬

Orientation of dwellings and doors

To take advantage of draughts, doors and windows should be oriented according to the area in which the house is located, its climate and its landscape.

For example, in coastal areas such as those of Sonneil homes, the breeze often blows from the sea towards the land. This is why our developments face the sea.

Another option is to place the windows facing north and south. This facilitates cross-ventilation, encourages natural breezes and brings them inside, especially during the summer.

Choose the right type of window

Small, seemingly unimportant details, such as the way the windows are opened, influence how the air flow enters the house and circulates through the rooms. 🏡

For example, so-called clerestory or triforium windows, which are placed at the top of the wall, facilitate the ‘chimney effect’. This means that cool air enters through the lower windows and warm air exits through the upper windows.

Natural ventilation

Spaces of transition

Patios, balconies, courtyards and other open spaces in the home boost air flow.

Take advantage of the night

Homes cool at night because cool air replaces the warm air they release. So do what has been done forever: leave windows open at night to expel warm air and keep spaces cool for the next day. 🌘

Types of natural ventilation

When looking for the best natural ventilation, it is important to know how air currents work. Here are the three types:

Unilateral ventilation

This involves placing windows on only one wall of the house. This is the most basic type of natural ventilation, which is implemented in small dwellings with few possibilities, in houses where cross ventilation is not possible due to structural limitations.

This type of natural ventilation generates the least air circulation.

Cross ventilation

This is the most common, and is achieved when windows or vents in a dwelling are placed on opposite or adjacent walls, allowing air to enter from both sides, cross the space and exit in the opposite direction.

This system is often used in dwellings and buildings located in areas with high temperatures, as it creates a constant renewal of air and reduces the temperature inside.

Natural ventilation

Thermal draught ventilation

Thermal draught ventilation is based on the principle that warm air rises and cold air remains in the lower areas. Cool air enters the dwelling through these lower areas, gradually becomes warmer, rises and leaves the space through openings at a higher level, such as clerestory or dormer windows.

For this system to work properly, the indoor temperature has to be higher than the outdoor temperature, which is not very efficient, as draughts do not occur if temperature is reversed.

In short: try to ventilate your home naturally. It’s good for your health, your home and your pocket. Sonneil’s homes, thanks to their privileged location, allow the sea breeze to reach every corner of them.

Live the good life with fresh air!