A bath mat that can be used to help cool down the home is one way that designers can make homes more environmentally friendly, a new study shows.
Bath mats have been used to cool and cool people around the world, and can help to cool homes by reducing their impact on the environment, according to the study, which was published online Wednesday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the study — funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research — researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University Of California at Berkeley compared the cooling effect of bath mats to a traditional bathtub or showerhead, which also has cooling effects on the air and the water.
The researchers used two types of bath mat: one made from wood, and the other made from plastic.
A wood bath mat had cooling effect because it contained fewer fibers than a plastic bath mat, which has a larger surface area.
Plastic tubs can absorb water, so it doesn’t absorb as much heat, according the study.
One of the researchers, Thomas L. Shultz, an associate professor in the department of materials science and engineering, said the paper shows that there is potential for using wood as a material to help reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
“The wood mat has a good amount of surface area, so the amount you need to absorb [of CO2] is minimal,” Shultz said.
“And we found that the amount absorbed by the plastic is very similar.
We could actually use this material to cool the house and make it much more efficient.”
The study is important because, in general, it suggests that bath mats may be a viable alternative to traditional bathtubs.
“We’re starting to see more and more materials being developed that have cooling properties,” Shults said.
Shultz said the team plans to further investigate the potential of bathmats for cooling homes.