actions to reduce the temperature at home without air conditioning


A woman cools off with her fan in the living room of her apartment, in which the shutters are closed to limit the heat of the sun, in Perpignan, June 13, 2022.

This summer, your mission, if you accept it: you do without air conditioning! Energy-intensive, it represents 10% of global electricity consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. Polluting, it contributes to global warming due to leaks or poor recycling of refrigerants, which are powerful greenhouse gases. Calorific, it is partly responsible for “urban overheating”, by itself increasing the temperature in the city by 1 to 1.5°C compared to that of the surrounding countryside – the total differential being able to reach 8°C in case of of heat wave.

However, if we do nothing to limit global warming, by the end of the century, we could reach temperatures of 50°C, or even higher than 55°C. “Heat waves will double or triple in frequency. It is therefore urgent to adapt our habits but also the urban forms”warns Charlotte Izard, climate and territory manager at the Climate Action Network.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Heat waves: how France is preparing for them

Here are some solutions to act now in your house or apartment.

Beginner level: have control of your air

1 – Preserve the interior temperature. For you who are beginners, it is better to say it: you have to close the shutters during the day as soon as the sun hits the window or do it before leaving for work in the morning. “Roller shutters are the best insulators, the air they contain serving as insulation”, explains Florence Clément, coordinator of information for the general public at the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe). Also close the windows as soon as the outside temperature exceeds that of your home. Take advantage of the night to ventilate, which cools the walls, ceilings, floors, which will store the coolness to restore it during the day. Track down electrical appliances: in case of hot weather, there’s no question of cooking a chicken or working with the laptop on your lap.

If you have a floor under the roof, at night you can create an effective draft called the “chimney effect” by opening a Velux window and a window downstairs. “This will create an upward air movement that is better able to drive the heat out of the attic”, continues Florence Clément. If you’re worried about leaving a downstairs window open all night, seal a grill in front of the opening.

2 – Create natural cooling. Dry very damp laundry inside the rooms or moisten a terracotta pot that you have watered in a basin and place it where the accommodation is sunny: while drying, the laundry and the terracotta emit evaporated water, which creates natural air conditioning, recommends Julien Dossier, director of the consulting firm Quattrolibri and author of Ecological Renaissance, 24 projects for the world of tomorrow (Editions Acts Sud). “In India, the method of beehive cooling, which consists of stacking terracotta pots in front of the houses, creates a temperature differential of more than 10 °C between outside and inside. »

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