General Question

St.George's avatar

Is there a good technique for keeping a house cool on hot days?

Asked by St.George (5855points) July 9th, 2008

I’m sure someone out there’s perfected a procedure for the timing of opening/closing windows and blinds for maximum cool-houseness.

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18 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

We do that technique to cut down on AC use – it’s been over 100 here lately. As soon as it gets cool at night, open all the windows & blinds. First thing in the morning, close everything up, shut blinds, & draw curtains. We can usually get by until 3:00 without turning on the AC, and set it to 78. It’ll run off & on until early evening when we can open everything up again.

babygalll's avatar

Keep the blinds and windows shut during the peak hours of the sun. Also, don’t wait for the temperature to rise in house before putting the AC on. It will run longer in getting the house cooler. If you turn it on early it will run on and off and maintain the temperature you want.

Harp's avatar

Use an indoor/outdoor thermometer. Anytime the outside temp is lower than the inside temp fling it all open. Close up when it’s warmer outside. No guesswork involved.

St.George's avatar

I don’t have air conditioning so I’ve just been keeping the sun/heat out by closing up the house until dusk. I like the idea of an indoor/outdoor thermometer as a gauge, because sometimes it’s cooler outside than I think it is.

syz's avatar

I have two small window insert fans – I place one in my bedroom blowing inward and one on the far end of the house blowing outward. It moves most of the air through the building during the night and cools things off. Then when I get up, I pull the fans, close the windows and blinds, and set my AC on low.

chaosrob's avatar

A couple of strategically-placed ceiling fans would probably help, and they’re fairly cheap to buy and operate. Also, the newer window air conditioners are getting pretty efficient. If you hang one or two in just the areas you make the most use of, you can close some doors and ignore the rest of the house during the hottest parts of the day.

beast's avatar

Howcast always has some cool ideas.

Get it? Cool?

wildflower's avatar

Build the house in Ireland and you won’t need to worry about hot days! :/

shilolo's avatar

@Wild. Which Ireland are you talking about? This one, or this one?

St.George's avatar

@Wildflower…if only. I’m Irish through marriage so I technically could. Hmmm.

mac316's avatar

Please keep in mind that the reading on the thermometer is only one measure of comfort. The fluther who mentioned opening everything up, lives in a desert climate. Doing this in New Orleans, would mean the air conditioner would work all day to just remove the moisture which comes in with the cool air. Humidity can cause discomfort as well as high temperatures.

wildflower's avatar

Shilolo, I’m referring to the climate section of that wiki article: highest ever temp. was 33 C/92 F and longest drought was all of 38 days without rain….
But then, you can’t get rainbows without a bit if sun!

susanc's avatar

Call your power company and ask for an energy audit. They’ll send someone out who will
absolutely floor you with excellent ideas for both conserving cool in summer and conserving heat in winter. You have to be the homeowner or pretend to be.

Seesul's avatar

If you own the home, or have permission of the owner, a simple attic fan works wonders. You can build it yourself out of an inexpensive box fan and framing. If you already have a crawl through spot in an open hallway, you might already have the opening needed without having to do anything else. As soon as the temp drops at night, open all of the windows and suck out all of the hot air.

Unfortunately, today is predicted hotter than yesterday. My part of the bay is predicted to hit 106 today and tomorrow. Right now at 10 am it’s already 80. It should cool to 97 Friday and be down to 94 on Saturday, but hopefully be down to 88 by Sunday. Just don’t go outside on the sidewalk without shoes. I did that once and burned the bottoms of my feet. This happens nearly every summer, but usually doesn’t last that long. It’s just aggravated this year, by all of the smoke. I really feel for the firefighters out in all of this.

Trance24's avatar

Well if you do not have an AC or you are trying to cut down we just bought these great fans that I can not seem to find on the internets. But they were pretty cheap about $20 and they are high powered and oscillate. We bought three of them, and we put those on during the day and they keep the house rather cool. It will circulate the air in the house and keep it moving. As for the windows try not to open them until later when it is getting dark out. That way you get the summer night breeze coming in. But if there is a cool breeze blowing during the day then it couldn’t hurt. =]

St.George's avatar

Wonderful suggestions all around. I’ll combine them all to create one cool, energy-efficient home. Cheers!

Flutterbug's avatar

Tinfoil on the windows helps. You basically have to black out the entire window with foil – do this on south facing windows and especially your bedroom. When we couldn’t afford air-con it helped a lot.

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