Climate is an important consideration for all homeowners, including yurt owners. Since ancient times, the Mongolian people have relied on yurts to withstand harsh conditions. In the Mongolia steppes, winter night temperatures often hover around -30°, while summer heat blasts as high as 104° F, and high wind is common.
Today, modern yurts are popping up across the world, and many are wondering how to keep yurts comfortable in all weather. Read on to learn more tips about cooling a yurt, and stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on how to heat yurts properly.
Circular Comfort: How Yurts Naturally Aid in Heating and Cooling
Yurts encourage heating and cooling, as their round shape naturally promotes circulation. Compared to square and rectangular buildings, round structures more effectively distribute light, heat, and cooled air. To be precise, a round building has 12% less exposed surface area when compared to a rectilinear structure with the same square footage. This helps with the overall energy efficiency of the structure.
Location, Location, Location
What they say about real estate also applies to yurt comfort. The location of your yurt will have the largest impact on its interior climate. If possible, aim for a shaded setting, which will keep your yurt cooler all summer long. If you have no choice but to place your yurt in a sunny, unprotected spot, expect more of a challenge keeping your yurt cool.
Cooling a Yurt: Features and Accessories
There are many ways to keep a yurt cool, as listed below. Adding just one of these features will help with cooling; for even more chill, select multiple yurt customizations.
- Add reflective insulation.
Reflective insulation is especially helpful in hot, exposed areas. The NASA-developed reflective insulation helps block radiant heat that would otherwise enter through the fabric covers.
- Install an air conditioning unit.
If you’re the “go big or go home” type, traditional AC may be the best option for your yurt. We manufacture a convenience panel that accepts a traditional air conditioner. Mini split systems are increasingly popular and don’t require modifications to the yurt.
- Select an operable dome skylight.
An operable dome allows hot air to escape the yurt, pulling cool air in through windows, doors or floor vents. This creates natural convection cooling.
- Install ducts under the platform.
If you prefer centralized, air-forced HVAC, you can install ducts under the platform and install registers on the floor.
- Increase circulation with a ceiling fan.
When attached to the yurt’s center ring using our fan support, a ceiling fan will maximize the convective cooling process. A reversible fan can push warm air up in the summer or down in the colder months.
- Install platform vents.
Add vents in the floor to bring cool air up from beneath the platform.
- Add a tinted dome or center ring insert with shade screen.
A tinted dome will minimize passive solar heat entering your yurt through the dome. If you prefer to maximize winter passive heating through a non-tinted dome, select a screen shade insert for warmer months and a bug screen insert for cooler months.
- Opt for screens and window awning frames
Screen doors or screen curtains will keep flying pests at bay while your door is open. Our window awning frames convert our fabric window flaps into awnings, allowing you to keep windows shaded and open. Both options help boost circulation and cooling.
- Get into good daily habits for cooling your yurt. Particularly in higher elevations, temperatures drop considerably when the sun goes down. Cool your yurt by opening windows at night and closing them up again as daytime temperatures rise. Pacific Yurts’ fabric windows include sewn-in screens as well as zippered window flaps.