Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for my problem? I have a small yard where all four walls, about 10 feet high, are made of stone and it's a virtual suntrap during the very hot summers in my country.
Most of the windows of my home look out into this yard and the heat out there, which comes through the open windows into the rooms is staggering. I don't have air conditioning and my only option is to keep the windows closed all the time which means that no fresh air ever enters my home, keeping the heat in.
I was wondering if it would be a good idea to hose down the walls to cool them in the evening so that the yard wouldn't stay so hot, at least at night? Or would that make it worse and cause humidity to come through the windows into the house?
Please help. I don't think I could bear another suffocating summer! Thank you in advance for any tips.
By cettina from Malta, Europe
Green, leafy plants in pots and a small fountain might help. Could you paint the walls a light, reflective color? Consider the humidity of the air. If the air is dry, hosing down the walls will help. If not, find some way to shield the walls from the sun. Good luck.
A wooden trellis or lattice would help to block out the sun yet still allow the air to flow through. This or some kind of patio awning would help to keep the sun from beating directly onto the house, which would also help keep you cooler. As the other poster said having plants along the walls, especially taller ones would help absorb some of the sunlight.
Hosing down the walls of your home will help it get cooler after the sun goes down but isn't there some way you could invest in a small window air conditioner for your bedroom? At least you could sleep in the cool.
Some really good ideas here already but, yes, using the hose on the walls once the sun is no longer beating heavily down in the yard will indeed help. I once had a house that had a tiny, tiny yard with stucco type walls and even though I lived in a very humid area at that time watering the walls made a hugely wonderful difference. One of the stucco walls enclosing the yard was a garage so I also watered the roof of that and the patio paving stones as well. :-)
I would try an outdoor fan at the base of the walls and maybe if air kept moving it would help the hot air rise faster.maybe a top or tarp could be place over the area to keep the sun rays out? Good Luck.
I wonder if you are an 'adventurous' sort?
Your 'patio' sounds like a perfect site to erect a 'roof' over, supporting electricity-generating solar cells. Which could possibly power air conditioning for your house.
I don't mean a watertight roof, only a simple shed-type structure to hold the solar cells.
Shade beneath would be wondrous! For many reasons.
Politicians are completely confused about how to regulate solar roofs. None of them were ever raised with an iota of common sense. They all are needy people who crave approval from all others, which doesn't mean they are exceptional.
If Malta is ahead of the curve, go for it!
Thank you all so much! Some really good ideas have been suggested. I have lots of plants in the yard to try to stave off some of the heat, but it doesn't help all that much. Here in Malta we get a government subsidy if we instal solar panels, but the ones available here are huge. Since I don't have much room in the yard (6ft wide and 15ft long), I have no idea if that is viable but I will certainly look into it. My walls are limestone - a natural pale-honey color, and they absorb the heat an awful lot. Hosing them down and putting a fan at the base to dispel the heat is a great idea, too.
Once again, thank you all so much for so many suggestions. At least I can start doing something and see what happens.
Plants along the wall, ivy, climbing plants and so on are what you need. Some kind of water feature, a fountain or pool would help as well, I think. I've just been to Greece, and I see that on the islands, everything is painted white, to reflect the heat out. In Morocco, the courtyard of the hotel had orange trees planted for shade and lots of plants everywhere. Perhaps some umbrellas or awnings over your windows would also help.
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