Here is an energy efficiency story from one of our members Tom.
We have a north facing child’s bedroom with full length north and west facing windows. While it’s great for winter sun, it becomes an oven in summer. In the past we have used shade cloth and internal blinds. However, on very sunny days the room would become uncomfortable warm by bedtime.
This year we have taken a new approach and experimented with growing runner beans over the north and west facing windows and walls. We moved wicking beds in front of the windows. We made the wicking beds out of an old food grade IBC container and used to garden with them exclusively when we lived in rentals for many years. We sourced an old free farm gate to act as the trellis (if you were renting and didn’t want to attach to the house you could easily use star pickets secured into the beds and something sturdy like chicken wire).
So far, it’s been going well with the beans now covering most of the north and west facing windows and walls. Even on a 35 degree plus day the room stays at a comfortable temperature and no problems with bedtime! I encourage other CoPower members to harness the natural cooling proprieties of plants and as a bonus you get lots of yummy beans to eat!
*Thanks for sending a picture of the setup! This is part of a series of CoPower members sharing stories with other members on saving energy. Your circumstances may differ, and each member’s experience might not be appropriate for your context. We encourage all members to share their stories here: https://bit.ly/EnergyStories.