A common goal of homeowners in summer months is to cool your homes in the most efficient manner, while using as little energy as possible. Using cross ventilation to cool your home without using the air conditioner is an energy-efficient method that will save you money and help to protect the environment, but there are certain necessary elements to properly facilitate cross ventilation.
Figure Out What You Need and How to Facilitate a Cross-Breeze
Just like any equation, you need to know all parts before you can solve it. In order to take advantage of the breezes outside to foster cross ventilation in your home, you’ll need a bit of ingenuity and understanding of weather patterns.
If you want to go the natural route in using cross ventilation, you simply must open up the key windows that will achieve your end goal. This may change with each time you open your windows, so be mindful of which ones will create the best result no matter which way the wind blows. In order to achieve cross ventilation, there needs to be at least two windows open on the opposite end of a room, or on opposite ends of each level of your home. This allows the air to flow freely through your house.
To create cross ventilation on days without a strong breeze, you’ll need a few fans to help the process along. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, one of those fans should be positioned so that it’s moving air out the window, in order to create suction that will facilitate the flow of a cross-breeze.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
On days that you want to have the windows open, but a breeze is irregular or non-existent, use your ceiling fans to stimulate movement. Having a fan going will help move the air through your home while expelling stale air through your open window. Keep in mind that using a ceiling fan when your windows are closed will help circulate the air, but it will not provide any form of ventilation.
Open Your Doors
Open the doors inside your house to let the air flow freely throughout each room. You may want to invest in door stops, so that your doors don’t slam shut in the fluctuation of a windy day. If you can’t or won’t spend money on door stops, an easy solution is to put a shoe, preferably an adult sized shoe, in front of the door so it cannot swing shut. Having the doors closed will prevent the cross ventilation from penetrating the whole house. Instead, it will be limited to whatever room is host to the windows that are open and a cross breeze may not be accurately produced.
Quickly Cool Your Home
This method is one of the best ways to cool your home quickly and completely. To cool an entire house on most days that have a breeze, you will only have to open about four windows or so, possibly turn on a ceiling fan or two and you’re done. It’s as easy as pie. It’s a great natural way to cool your home when you’re trying to watch your electric bill. It doesn’t use any electric energy if you don’t need to run ceiling fans, and if you do, it uses such minimal electricity you probably won’t even notice it on your bill.
Why Bother with Cross Ventilation At All?
When you have an existing HVAC system and the weather is stuffy, it’s not always easy to justify the use of cross ventilation over running the air conditioner. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that cross ventilation isn’t just about cooling your home, it’s about bringing in fresh air. If your home is completely closed up, the air can get stale and stagnant. Cross ventilation will help eliminate this old air and stimulate new life with a fresh sensation of clean air. Provided that you live in a region that’s largely free of air quality alerts and removed from the pollutions of industrial areas, cross ventilation can actually improve the quality of air within your home to a noticeable degree.
This spring and summer, throw open those windows and breathe in that fresh air. You’ll then remember how important and relatively simple cross ventilation can be. Just remember to open more than one window, otherwise, the air in your home will be standing fairly still when you want it to be flowing freely.