A portable air conditioner or window unit can keep your place nice and chill even during the hottest summer months. But if you’re looking for a way to stay cool without blowing up your energy bills, consider these ways to air out your home without cranking the A/C.
Best for: A single floor
If there’s a breeze, open a window on the side of the house receiving the breeze, and another on the opposite side. Using a smaller opening on the breeze (intake) side and a larger opening on the exhaust side will increase the airspeed through the house. Strategically open and close doors to force air through the rooms you want to cool. If there isn’t a breeze, you can use fans to create one. The intake window should be on the home’s coolest external wall; put a fan in the window facing into the room to suck in cool air. A fan facing out an open window on another external wall exhausts warm air.
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1. Create shade
Keep the heat at bay by creating shading around the house, especially around west- and north-facing windows. Removable shades, such as the one pictured, mean that for those in temperate climates, you have the flexibility to remove the shade in winter.
Or, for the same purpose – sun in winter, block-out in summer – plant deciduous vines on pergolas and create cool zones around the house. This will reduce the heat inside the home on hot summer days, but when the leaves drop in winter, light and warmth will be allowed inside.
2. Improve your eaves
Ensure your eaves are the right size and angled to keep the high summer sun at bay and allow winter sun through.
3. Let it in/shut it out
Learn to control temperatures by simply knowing when to open up your house for maximum air flow. On hot summer days, get into the habit of shutting up during the day – all doors, blinds, curtains – and then opening everything up in the evening to vent the house with evening breezes.
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