Before you crank up the air conditioning this summer, try a little old-fashioned ventilation first.
Listen to ON COOLING VENTILATION, or read text below:
Just keeping air moving can make your home feel much cooler. But it goes beyond opening a window. There's a little science to it. If you live where the nights are cool, keep your house sealed during the heat of the day. If it's well-insulated, it should only gain about one degree per hour.
Open windows and circulate cool air in the evening and early morning. Get some cross-ventilation going by opening windows on opposite sides of the house.
Homes designed with cupolas, clerestory windows, vented skylights or even attic vents can create what's called a thermosiphon or updraft. Hot air escaping from the top of the house pulls cooler outside air through lower windows, creating a constant cooling flow. An attic fan can help create the same effect.
And for much less than it costs to run your air conditioner, the underappreciated window fan can give you the summer breeze you're looking for.
Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to-or reading-Bob's 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.
For more on ventilation, consider:
Quick Tip: Ventilation for the Home
Quick Tip: Alternatives to Air Conditioning Your Home
Quick Tip: Don't Forget to Ventilate!