How To Keep Your House Cool Without AC.
When 100-degree heatwaves strike, should you close windows or leave them open? How do you keep the upstairs cool naturally?
If you have an old home with 16-inch stone walls surrounded by lots of shade trees you have a head start of the rest of us with our “modern” homes. Those older homes had tall windows, large central halls and transoms and high ceilings – the cool air swept in and floated hot air up above the heads of those inside. And then there was the covered porch with rocking chairs to retreat to.
For the rest of us, here is a multiple part series of tips. [Six in the series]
But those homes are few and far between so instead try adopting a few of your great-grandparent’s tricks with your won home, before you give in to firing up your energy-burning, power-bill-boosting AC. So sit back with a glass of ice tea and practice using that old paper fan correctly. Move it languidly not fast! Practice with your non dominant hand so you can actually do something with your dominant hand – like scrolling down to read more.
I for one am not comfortable emotionally or physically being trapped in an airlock of recycled frigid air – I like fresh air but do not like to swelter. There is a way to eliminate or reduce the dependence on AC!
Open Windows Strategically
If you have windows that you can open, do so only when it is cooler outside than in. But don’t just throw them all wide open. While that may seem like the way to get the most air movement, it often isn’t. Take advantage of the fact that hot air rises (think hot-air balloon), and create a natural draft by opening downstairs windows on the shady side of the house, and upstairs windows on the hot side of the house. Increase this natural flow by putting a portable window-mounted fan in the upstairs window. To get the best effect, experiment with how wide you open the windows; usually it takes only a few inches downstairs. If there is any natural breeze, “tune” your windows to work with it: Open downstairs windows on the side of the house the wind is hitting, and upstairs windows on the side of the house away from the wind. As the wind swoops over and around your house, it actually decreases the air pressure on the far side, and that lower pressure will pull hot air out of your home. If you live in an area with lots of pollen or dust, you may want to get window screens with filters in them[or covered with cheesecloth] for the downstairs windows. Once the outside air starts to warm up in the morning, be ready to close your windows up tight. If you are leaving for the day, you will want to shut everything up before you go out.