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Ask Jennifer Adams: How Do I Cool My House Down Naturally?

Ask Jennifer Adams: How Do I Cool My House Down Naturally?

Dear Jennifer,

It's the middle of yet another heat wave and I don't have air conditioning. Any advice on how to cool my house down naturally?



How to Naturally Cool a House

Taking advantage of a cross current is your best bet for cooling down. Wind naturally flows in through certain windows of your home and out through others, so depending on the direction the wind is blowing, you're likely to find that air is coming in more from a certain side of your house.

Experiment with opening some windows and closing others to see what produces the best airflow. Remember that windows located directly opposite each other cool only those areas in the direct path of the airflow. You'll cool more of your home if you force the air to take a longer path between the inlet and outlet.

Once you know how air moves naturally through your home, you can then optimize your mechanical ventilation. By placing a large fan in a window blowing warm air OUT and another fan in a window that blows cool outdoor air IN, you can take advantage of the air flow and create a cross current that removes stale air and keeps the place cool.

How to Create a Cross Breeze with One Window

If you only have access to one window, you can still cross-ventilate in other creative ways.

When the outside temperature is cool, all you have to do is open your window to let the cool air in. This will normally be very early in the morning, or in the evening when the temperature drops down. When the outside temperature starts to go up again later in the morning, close your window to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.

A better option is to place a fan in your window, pulling more cool air in quicker. Open the door of the room to create cross-ventilation with your single window, pushing stale air out the room, and allowing more air to circulate throughout your home.

How to Cool a House without AC

Do you happen to have a basement? Put that cold air to use! Basement air is typically about 20 degrees cooler than it is upstairs, so you can enlist it to help chill your entire home. Prop the basement door open and place a fan there to suck the cool air up into your house.

You can't fight Mother Nature, so if the conditions aren't optimal for creating a natural breeze or the humidity outside makes it unbearable to leave the windows open, remember that it's always easier to cool yourself rather than a large space. Position a fan to blow in your general direction, and if necessary, drape a wet cloth behind your neck. The cool water mixed with even a slight breeze will make you feel cooler.

Other tips to stay cool without AC are:

  • Block the heat from your windows by closing your curtains and blinds.
  • Use all available fans in your home, such as your ceiling fan, kitchen exhaust fan, and any bathroom fans.
  • Try not to do any baking or run too many appliances during the day—save it for the evenings or mornings.
  • Shut doors to unused rooms to help keep cool air in the rooms where you need it most.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to stay cool at night when you sleep, check out this blog!

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